Journal Entry: January 9, 2015
We arrived Narita airport at approximately 2:30 this afternoon, Japan time. The flight was relatively uneventful. The stalker whore was not on the plane, not that I know of anyway. We exited the plane, quickly navigated immigration and customs, and headed to the Japan Rail office to change the train tickets we had purchased in the US at the foreigner exchange rate, into actual train passes we will use on our 11 day trip here in Japan. As I stood outside the office, in front of a Starbucks I remembered from my last trip here, nine years ago, I realized I was walking in the footsteps of my husband and Camilla. Anxiety and pain started to fill my body. I could feel the tears begin to flow and I was powerless to stop them. Of course I had walked these steps before too, but now I know. I know they have walked them since, and multiple times. The last time I was in Japan, it was February 2006. My husband, unbeknownst to me, had already cheated with three women and was almost a year into his intermittent affair with Camilla, but they had not traveled together. He had merely gone to her house a few times for “quickies.” At the end of 2007, she had given him an ultimatum, either she got more of his time, more than an hour, or she was out. She no longer wanted to be his unpaid whore, or she no longer wanted her house to feel like a brothel, because she was still his unpaid whore, his International unpaid whore—not only was she unpaid, but she was actually paying out of her own pocket to be with my husband! Paying her own way and I mean everything, everything right down to the last little train ticket and piece of sushi. I am not sure why she thought my husband’s feelings for her would change just because he was agreeing to spend more time having sex with her, but I guess she did.
In April 2008, my husband invited Camilla to travel with him on his business trip to Japan, as long as she followed all his rules. They were on two very long plane flights, were in Tokyo for a total of five nights, and Kyoto for two nights. She paid her own way, they were not seen together anywhere in the city, they did not go out to eat together. They purchased food items at a nearby convenience store, which they brought, separately, back to the room. My husband spent the vast majority of his time prepping for meetings and attending meetings and meals with clients. They did not sightsee together, and this was not a vacation. It is my understanding she was outrageously upset with the circumstances and became aggressive and violent, and verbally abusive. Upon returning home, they both swore never to see each other again. As I stood there waiting for my husband with tears streaming down my face, and people glancing at me in concern as they quickly passed by, I realized I would never truly be over “it.” It is impossible to just be “over” betrayal. When my husband saw me in the state I was in, he clearly did not know what to do. Even after nearly 12 months of facing it, he is still ill prepared for the sight of me, in trauma. He did not say anything. He took all the bags and ushered me to the boarding platform. We had a train to catch. I imagined that no matter what his affair partner threw at him, he behaved in exactly this manner, in denial. Once we had made it safely to the proper track, and the proper spot on the platform where we would board the car that held our reserved seats, he hugged me and apologized for all he has done. Wouldn’t it be nice, people, if a simple sweeping apology could wipe away the excruciating pain of years of betrayal? Yeah, it doesn’t. The last place I wanted to be was there, with him, on that platform.
Sitting in seat 5B on our way from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station, watching the Japanese countryside pass me by, an image from my childhood popped into my head. It is a vivid memory, possibly one of my oldest. When I was a little girl, maybe four years old, my mother took me to the big movie house near our neighborhood to see Bambi. I was so excited to get to see a real movie with my mom. I cozied up to her as the bright colors splashed across the screen. I was thrilled by the adorable baby deer and all his little friends. I remember sitting on the edge of my seat with anticipation, loving every minute of this huge, beautiful story playing out in front of me… that is, until Bambi’s mother was killed. Then, my little world came crashing down. I remember covering my face and turning away from the screen. Bambi’s mother had warned him about the dangers of the forest, but how could he have known that such horrible evil was waiting to take his mother away from him. He loved his mother. He needed his mother. Tears streamed down my face as I lost interest in the movie and asked my mother if we could leave. I distinctly remember her smiling at me and telling me, Kat, it’s okay. Bambi will be okay. It is just a movie. I was so sick. I was as horrified as a little four-year-old could be. Obviously the experience left a distinct impression, as I remember everything about this moment in time in my very young little life. Bambi would never be okay. For the rest of the movie I was curled up in a little ball in my seat, afraid of what horrible thing would happen next. No matter what they showed me on the screen, I would never believe Bambi was okay.
Years later, when The Pragmatist was a little boy, Disney released The Lion King in theaters, and it was everywhere. There were commercials on television, Lion King toys in the stores, kids were talking about the movie and they were bringing figurines to preschool and my little boy desperately wanted to see this movie. With my own Bambi experience always in the back of my mind, I researched The Lion King extensively and determined it was too adult, too mature, too dark, and too violent for my little man. But he begged, and begged. Other kids were talking about it and he wanted to go see it. I purchased the book on tape and we listened to it in the car, without the much larger than life visuals to go with it. I explained to him what was going to happen. We talked about it, he promised me he would be okay. He was four years old! It makes me cry typing this here right now in my journal. It took nearly a year, but my husband and I finally agreed that we would take him to the movie theater to see The Lion King. My family is very close and The Pragmatist was the first grandchild in our family. My parents, and my sister wanted to go with us to see the movie with the little man. His brother, The Peacemaker, would stay home with a babysitter. There was no way in hell I was taking a one year old to the movie theater to see The Lion King. I actually entertained the idea of staying home with The Peacemaker, but then I couldn’t imagine not being there when my son witnessed the violent death of a baby lion’s father by his own brother. WHY DID I EVER TAKE MY CHILD TO SEE THAT MOVIE???? The Pragmatist was beside himself with glee as he sat amongst all of us adults in the middle of the big theater. His eyes, like mine so many years before him, lit up with the big bright colors on the screen. He watched intently as the scenes played out… and then, as the murder scene develops and is splashed in front of our faces, bigger than life, my little man stands up in his seat and shouts “I NEED TO GO HOME NOW. I DON’T LIKE THIS MOVIE. I NEED TO GO HOME WITH MY BROTHER.” And I hated myself. I hate making parenting mistakes. I am a person who really does pay attention to those little lessons in life and absorbs them, feels them, and learns from them. At least I do most of the time. This day will go down as one of those times when I did not listen to my own instincts. It was at that point, that I picked up my child and walked out of the movie theater and the rest of my family followed. I can say, that my son has watched The Lion King now many more times than I was ever able to watch Bambi. My son has a different personality than I do. As he was closing out his college radio show a few months ago before graduating and leaving the school for good, he played the Circle of Life. I texted him asking if he remembered going to see that movie when he was barely four years old. He said he did not remember it, and I smiled. I know he was telling me the truth.
When my husband sat on our bed nearly a year ago, and said these words “I have been having an affair with this woman for many years, it was just sex… “ I was that little girl again. I was four years old and my mom was telling me about shit that happens in this world and even though it hurts and sometimes makes us feel bad, we’re going to be okay. In that case, it was just a movie. Well, guess what mom, sometimes things are not going to be okay, and I’ll tell you this, in my mind, fucking evil left Bambi an orphan, and fucking evil took my marriage away from me and some days, some days, I cannot just brush it off and say everything is going to be okay. There is a reason they never showed “man” in the Disney movie Bambi, because Man is a real son of a bitch sometimes.
It is so easy to say, “grow up, Kat.” It is so very easy to say, but not always so easy to do, and some days it feels nearly impossible.