…lay your heart on me and I’ll treat it like solid gold…
Eureka Peak shoots straight up to the sky, reaching 7447 feet above sea level. Bold and tall, she appeared far steeper than she is from our vantage point, tucked right up against her base in the Plumas Eureka Camp Ground.
She breathes. She’s rippled with gold and draped with green and buzzing with energy. Over 60 tunnels plunge into her granite body, some through to the other side. But she’s no less stable – probably more powerful for having withstood the blasts and invasions of those seeking to steal her riches for their own gain without ever crumbling.
The Dudes and I sat on rocks at our campsite and stared up, scanning her bends and curves for mine entrances. Looking for the locomotive engine that, legend has it, waits to be discovered by someone brave enough to go off trail. They talk of climbing her. One day they will. That day I wanted to be high up on her vertical face, alone. My body challenged by the ascension and my mind emptied by needing to be fully present in the moment so I didn’t end up broken in pieces after a thousand foot fall. She would make my heart feel better. Lighter. She would occupy my Ego.
Without a mountain to train for I struggle with feeling empty inside and having my mind far too full of nonsense. Without my Mom here I feel truly without a partner for the first time. Family and friends love me, but no one loved me like my Mom. That night, under the super moon and in the shadow of Eureka Peak, I acknowledged all those feelings. And other thoughts that seemed to own me lately.
How I can’t trust men. Why I should forget about ever having a committed relationship because my heart will never let someone get close enough for true love, real intimacy. How it’s so unfair to be forced to interact with someone who betrayed me. No one would ever CHOOSE that reality, but it’s forced upon those of us who have been betrayed by our spouses when we have children. The realization that the biggest mistake I have ever made was to marry him clung to my psyche. My Ego tsk-tsking me, saying, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???
Getting away to the Sierras was the absolute best medicine. For all three of us. I had let my former spouse get to me in ways that were not healthy. I allowed myself to become frustrated with not being able to shout from the rafters, Dude! You are the one who lied for YEARS. Stop telling me that I need to do this or be that. Stop acting, as Modern Matriarch said, like a Pillar of Virtue! The absolute last person on the planet that will tell me how I should be acting is YOU.
The LAST LAST person on the planet that will tell me how I should be acting and what I should be doing is my former spouse’s affair partner.
But she felt compelled. She sent me an email because of something I wrote on Facebook. Her words sounded like those of a petulant fourteen year old girl, her fists all curled up and feet stamping. She said she’d had ENOUGH of my lies and she wasn’t going to take it anymore. She patted herself on the back for being FRIENDS (her allcaps, not mine) with her former spouse, insinuating that I was less evolved because I wasn’t friends with my former spouse. Said she had nothing to do with the failure of our marriage. She said I lied. But I have saved emails that I’d be happy to share that show otherwise. Her former spouse and I had a brief dialogue via email. I don’t lie. I’ve offered this challenge before – Tell me the lies I’ve written. Please. And I’ll acknowledge them.
Now, I know hearing that she contacted me inspires you all to go Uma Thurman on her. But that would be like witnessing a battle of wits between Oprah Winfrey and Tara Reid. Or a cook-off between Martha Stewart and Honey Boo Boo.
I could go on…
I never replied to her email. And I only bring it up here because that’s the beauty of HGM. We get to share our experiences so that we can create better, healthier ways to move forward while dealing with infidelity and divorce. She and my former spouse continuously tell me to MOVE ON. What they don’t seem to get is that I write about infidelity and divorce. I don’t write about them. This isn’t about them. I don’t wake up in the morning and think, What can I write about my former spouse today?
In the years since discovering his affair I can count on my fingers the times I’ve thought about his affair partner. She just really doesn’t capture my attention. I’ve chosen this path. I’ve chosen to spend time writing about this epidemic that destroys families. I’ve chosen to try to understand how human beings can be so hurtful. And how they can lie with such ease. And why they choose to complicate things when a conversation instead of an affair would keep many families together, even if the parents divorce.
My path is not unlike that of many writers. We write about our experiences.
I have moved on. I suggest the two of you do so as well. Or not. I can use all the page hits I can get. But honestly, it’s kind of pathetic that you lurk here. Aren’t you busy building your castle and fluffing up the pillows on your thrones? I mean, you are the Queen and King after all.
(Oh, c’mon. Let me have just a LITTLE fun! I really think I’ve earned it.)
In the shadow of Eureka Peak the super moon lit up a tether that ran from me to him. I thought I had severed every remaining chain that linked us. But I hadn’t. And it was my fault. I was still letting him tell me how I should act. And when I didn’t act the way he wanted me to, I was allowing his displeasure to make me defensive. Being defensive with him was making me defensive in other areas of my life. Which led me to be less vulnerable. More susceptible to judgment. Less open. Tense. Signs started hiding. Encounters few and far between. My vibrational energy plummeted.
Nature began to recede. That’s when it got noticeable: I’m losing major ground here. I recall being in the waves and having to force myself to see the beauty of the Marin hills. It was as if I could only look through them. And see nothing on the other side.
Slowly, Nature was going dark on me.
I looked to the moon, thinking of the night just after the Pocket Call when that big pearly ball saved my ass. I’m still here. Just give me a few beats to get these most recent events through my system.
I thought about the morning of our departure for the Sierras. My former spouse demonstrated again that he is a total MENSA candidate, unconscious and incapable of being empathic, when he chose to bring the children of his affair partner to meet me…without a single word via text or email or phone call or carrier pigeon or Morse Code or any one of a million ways available to give me a heads up.
Not a peep. Nope. Just showed up to drop off The Dudes while I waited for the oil to be changed on the car with two young girls who looked like they were going to a wedding. Flower wreaths in their hair and long dresses on. All to drop off The Dudes at garage. Uh-huh.
This time my Mom would have been proud.
I was not at all stunned by the selfish and immature move. Made all the more ridiculous when he tried to blame it on the Tall Dude wanting me to ‘meet his friends’. As if that prevented my former spouse from either discussing it with me first or telling the Tall Dude that it wasn’t the right time.
He was offended that I didn’t roll out the red carpet.
That moment in time changed me forever.
I grew talons. And inside I said, You will never F with me again. Stop trying to cram your instafamily down my throat. I have ZERO obligation to be involved with them in any way, no matter who desires it. ZERO. None.
And that doesn’t make me a bad person. Or less evolved. Or bitter. When I married my former spouse I did not also agree to welcome his mistresses or their children.
But mostly, stop F-ing with me. And the only way to make sure that happens is to NOT LET HIM F with me.
You should see these talons. Massive. Good thing I don’t wear stockings anymore.
A kitten wrote to me the other day and said that she is struck by how little empathy I give to myself. Especially in light of the recent events – and she hadn’t yet heard these revelations. I balled when I read her words. I can still be open and vulnerable and loving and not let him F with me. I can have a hand to his face and still have an open heart.
You know, I thought, as I wrapped my arms around my knees and looked up to the clouds, their edges dripping with silver moon light, I really need to stand up for myself. AND go easy on myself.
I need to trust myself. Trust that what doesn’t feel right ISN’T RIGHT. By feeling that I can’t trust another I am really saying that I can’t trust me. That’s nonsense. I know the difference between right and wrong. I have discernment when my Ego is benched and my heart is heard. I don’t have to put up with the drama of the self-described Queen and King. Really, it’s pretty clear here who has better judgment.
I’m done with being F’d. (Sorry, Aunt Awesome. I know I’ve dropped the F quite a bit in this one. Mom would not be proud. But I just can’t seem to hold back!)
Eureka Peak hummed her agreement. The sound filled my ears. My entire body vibrated noticeably. There was no seeing through Nature here. She was making certain she was heard. I felt a little better. A little relaxed. The tension and anger I felt from the way I was being treated by my former spouse began to ease up.
I took a walk around the campsite in the moonlight feeling each step, feeling Her. FEELING. It became clear that as I tensed up over time, over these last several months, it was as if I placed a tourniquet on the life cord that connects me with Her.
After the embers went dark in the campfire and we were all sound asleep in the tent, the Earth shook me. I woke to some degree to find myself a little off the ground and being jostled about, really vibrating. I’m not exaggerating. I looked down to see that my body appeared as a collection of detached jewels that were in danger of being lost as they bounced away from my center, as if vibrating on a drum skin being pounded by Dave Grohl. I watched them quickly come back together, joining up in a mesh like masterpiece that was both delicate and indestructible. Gold links connected the emeralds and rubies and sapphires together in a perfect pattern of symmetry, all from a pile of stones.
Two thoughts emerged in this strange moment in time – Wow, this feels SO cool, and Wow, I’m well put together!
I awoke in the morning and peered under my sleeping bag.
When I came home I wrote down some rules of engagement for former spouses and debunked some myths for the mistresses.
For them it’s BACK TO SCHOOL time in the next post. For me it’s time to recognize my power, honor my strength, have empathy for myself given the heartache I’ve experienced, and allow others to love me without having to pay a price for the betrayal of someone else.
PS: Please visit my facebook page to read the words of L on keeping affairs a secret. They are worth pondering as we try to find a better way to deal with the epidemic of infidelity. Thank you.