Approximately three months ago I put myself on notice in the post The year has come and gone.
I am responsible for my happiness. I have made a promise to myself to seek out that happiness and not let anything or anyone get in my way. Happiness used to come so easily to me. I woke up happy and although everyone has challenging moments throughout the day, I never had bad days, only bad moments. Then dday happened, and trauma overwhelmed me.
As Blue Eyes and I were driving home yesterday, we passed numerous farms growing everything from citrus to hazelnuts. I lost myself in daydreams looking out on farmhouses, and vineyards, and orchards, I envisioned painting those little farmhouses surrounded by fruit trees and grape vines. I realized I would be incredibly happy living on a farm. I love to garden, I love animals, I love to cook and bake, especially for my family. I could live in a small town just as easily as a large city. I could be happy living in a cabin in the woods. I could sip tea and paint all day. It is not loads of money or the size of my house or the lavishness of my holidays that make me happy. I didn’t realize anything could steal away my happiness until my husband lied about me and betrayed me. Until that day, discovery day, I never could have imagined that a person who promised to cherish me and in some ways held my happiness, my soul, my heart in his hands, was systematically destroying my world.
I know I can be happy without my husband. I can feel it in my bones. Being married to Blue Eyes, being his wife and partner, is a habit. Making changes, especially to decades long patterns, is incredibly difficult. The question I keep asking myself as Blue Eyes struggles to remain mindful, is can I be happy with a man not knowing if he will ever be able to stop hurting me with his words and his actions. If I can be happy without him, and I struggle to see his progress and I know all those elements of his personality, his addiction, that propelled his abhorrent behavior over the past four decades are still there inside him, dictating his behavior, hindering his ability to be self aware, his ability to be present, his ability to be a partner, should I stay? Is my happiness my only goal? I cannot fix him, change him, or apparently even help him, so do I just sit around hoping he will be a better husband so I can be a happier person. Honestly, it is not really possible for me to be truly happy under the existing circumstances. I do know that much. There are too many triggers. There is too much baggage.
Yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I brought up the “s” word: separation. I never bring it up lightly. I never threaten with it. I am dead serious when I talk about separation, but when I do think about it, I feel it is at a point of complete and utter desperation for me. It is part of the trauma. I really don’t want to separate. But I do want to be happy.
As we got off the freeway exit near our house last night and were stopped at a traffic signal, a deluge of horrible memories and images flooded my brain, from out of nowhere. As we approached our home, the home we have lived in for nearly 20 years, the home we lived in during all of Blue Eyes’ acting out behaviors, his cheating, his lying, his sexting, his bringing another woman to our house, all of it came crashing in around me. I felt stifled, claustrophobic, out of breath. I didn’t want to go home. I didn’t want to face THAT reality.
I feel like I could be happy anywhere. I could easily leave and engage in happy and healthy behaviors, but I feel like I would be running away. I have always been someone who faces her own reality square in the face, and deals with it. I realize, this time, this is not my reality. My husband changed my reality so drastically, I don’t recognize it. He manipulated me and polluted my life with his own sickness. I am having a tough time. I know I am just rambling, because I am lost and I don’t know what to do.