[Here in my little not-so-private space, I have ever-so-slowly been sharing my story of divorce. Part One left off with my husband’s discovery of my affair and my struggles with the stress of it all.]
I have spent a good amount of time on the St. Clair river. Enormous freighters frequently pass through its deep blue water in a deceivingly effortless motion. When the sun is shining on the wide river, the water is a transparent turquoise to rival any Caribbean sea. The ships and boats that pass through create waves that bounce back and forth between the shores of the US and Canada. They have nowhere to go thus creating huge waves in every direction with no rhyme or reason. These menacing waves however, are no match for the giant metal barges. At the front of the ships, the water swells to the big bullies in a continuous mound of crystal blue. On most days, it can not win the fight.
This is how I felt back then, in a constant state of defense. I was the water, feeling hopelessly pushed around with no control. I was not deciding my fate, I was letting the situation rule my every move.
After years of secrets, there should have been some form of relief when my husband found out. I’ve always heard that most people, deep down, want to be caught. This seems ridiculous at first, but when thinking about the stress of it all, I can really begin to understand it. However, there was no relief; the stress simply turned to, “How am I going to make this mess work?” That is the only thought that crossed my mind. I did not even think about divorce. There was no love left, no anything left, but divorce did not cross my mind. I had to continue to live a lie. I had stopped the affair (for ever, I thought), but the mirage of being happy needed to continue.
So easily, I let my mind trick and suppress my soul. I think sometimes that my very being had grown tired of me ignoring its warnings and just went into a deep dark corner where it waited in silence.
My mind continued to tell me that I could somehow make this work. That I could somehow live a life with a man I did not want to be with. It was around this time that the stress began take a toll on my body. It began with numbness in my arms and legs, then into the side of my face, followed by pins and needles in the hands and feet, and unexplainable pain in my arm.
One day early on, I was so afraid I was having a heart attack that I went to the ER. The nurse there asked if MS ran in my family. No, I said, but that simple little question set in motion 8 plus years of living in constant fear. I was sent into full-out panic mode! I went home and began reading all about MS on the internet. Yeah, I know (now), BIG mistake! I have to preface this story by saying that I am somewhat of a hypochondriac and this did not help my situation.
I began to breath fear. I could not escape the worry that I may have some debilitating disease. It consumed…every…thought.
If I thought I was in hell before, this was a whole new kind of hell. My life quickly became caught in a revolving door of doctors, specialists, herbalists, acupuncturists, psychics, you name it. If I thought they could help me, I was going to try it. The craziest part of all of this was that every test (and I had a lot of them), came back negative! No one had any idea what was wrong with me. Yet, I continued to search out new and better doctors. I was happy with each negative test for about two minutes; they did nothing to suppress my fear because I still felt awful. I would only think, “What if it just hasn’t shown up yet?” It became my belief that somewhere, somehow, I was going to find the antidote to whatever the hell was wrong with me.
I had even succumbed to trying several anti-depressants. Emphasis on the word, succombed, because I also have a fear of taking prescriptions. I had so much anxiety about taking the drugs that it made me feel worse. I also had so many side-effects to the drugs that were not working anyway, that I finally gave up. I was going to have to suffer all on my own.
I was a tangled mess of desperation and fear. I would have slaughtered a pig and painted myself with its blood if I thought it would heal me.
Sadly, actually pathetically, I never believed or thought that the massive amount of stress I was under had anything to do with my symptoms. I never thought that my very life was becoming dependent on getting out of my current situation.
Up next: A Book Is All It Took
This post is the continuation of my story and journey to divorce. You can find my story from the beginning under the category, Divorce.
5 thoughts on “Fear Becomes Me, Part Two”
I have found one of the most significant parts of my recovery has been to separate my ‘desperation’ from my ‘fear’ and then to tackle those one at a time.
I admire you for your brave honesty in this post.
Thank you. It was a very dark time and not fun to revisit, hence my slow process in writing my story. It does make me extremely grateful that I am in a completely different place now and that time doesn’t even seem real anymore.
Funny, for the longest time I never thought about divorce either…until I finally realized I had enough. I always thought my affair partner “wanted” to be caught…. he was always so reckless. Maybe it is sub-conscious, finding a way out of a place you can’t get to consciously….