Finding peace in paradise

Journal Entry: Wednesday, February 5, 2014: 10:45pm

The sun had set over the gorgeous coast of The Big Island of Hawaii more than four hours before, but the colors lingered in my mind. The rooms at the Four Seasons are so beautiful. From the outside, my life is beautiful. I have a loving husband, two wonderful sons, a beautiful home, and money to travel. I have been to many gorgeous places and witnessed dozens of amazing sunsets. And yet, there I sat on the big white bed in Hualalai thinking only of her. I thought of him with her, trying to make sense of the senseless. As I stared at the tropical flower arrangement he had waiting for me in the room upon arrival, full of white roses and purple orchids, I asked him one more time about their last sexual encounter. How had it gone again? You asked her to meet you for coffee so you could, once and for all, put an end to this crazy, intermittent, dysfunctional long-term affair. The day after our 24th wedding anniversary, you met up with her in her neighborhood, as usual, and talked for an hour or so. You talked about your illness and how you needed help. You told her you could not see her anymore. Or perhaps you just asked her how she was doing. She walked you by her newly purchased apartment complex. You let those addictive feelings back in. You let her back in. You began nurturing the sickness in both of you, again. You asked her if you could go to her house and have sex with her, again. I realize this is not about me, how could it be. If I existed at all in your mind at this time, how could you possibly reconcile your wife of 24 years, your companion of 29, at home alone, and lonely. You were able to block out my pain. You were able to block out the two glorious weeks we had just spent in Paris with our boys. You were able to block out all the happiness, security, comfort and love of your family to have sex with this woman who had invaded our lives. Of course, I had no knowledge of this woman. I hadn’t a clue.

This is when something inside me snapped. I knew I was losing it, but there was nothing I could do to stop myself. This is when I wanted to release the pain that was building inside me. That deep pain that made my chest feel like it would rip in two. The excruciating pain in my head, the pounding and throbbing. I had to release it somehow. This is when I grabbed my own arms and scratched until the blood dripped out of them. Long, deep scratches, over and over. This is when I realized, once again, that I might not be able to do this. The emotional pain did start to give way to the physical pain in my arms. Somehow the sight of blood brought instant relief to my heart and head.

He grabbed my hands so tightly I was confused by the pain he was inflicting on me. He had never caused me physical pain before. I became numb to anything but my intense focus on the scratches on my arms. I do not know how long we sat there, him holding my hands, me staring at my arms. And then, I went away. I do not know where I went, and I do not remember anything.

When I finally regained focus, I had this desperate need to walk out into that vast ocean that had almost claimed me just a few short months before and end it all. We had been to Maui the previous spring and I had been in a near fatal snorkeling accident. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to go out in the ocean again, but at this point, all I wanted to do was walk out into the warm water and disappear. I did not want to feel the pain anymore, and I did not want him to be able to hurt me any more. I got up, put my shoes on, left our room, and started out on the path to the sea. I sensed he was beside me, holding me, walking with me, sharing my physical space, but not my emotional space. As we walked the path next to the ocean and listened to the waves gently lapping the shore, I felt a calm wash over me. We walked hand in hand to a grassy area and climbed into a hammock together.

I am not sure how long we were there, in that hammock together, but somehow I felt at peace for the first time in a long time.

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