July 22, 1998
The divorce has been finalized and I find a message on the answering machine that they are engaged; JMF and Doo Dah are getting married. I sat on this piece of information for four days. It’s interesting how memories can be a bit fuzzy after so many years. I thought that I called her on July 22. Thank goodness for my journal. I wrote a lot about my goals and objectives if I were to meet her. I’d forgotten that piece of information.
My hope was that if I met her my thoughts would shift about her. So here’s the celebration! I’ve not lost myself. I am still the eternal optimist. Never the less it’s important to meet her and get the boulder out of the way so that I can continue to heal.
The weekend is just lonely. JJ and T have moved out and JWF is with a friend for the weekend. It’s a gift and a curse. Great to have the house to myself to just be me and yet all three of them provide a great distraction for me. I decide that I would call Doo Dah and that decision loomed in front of me because I couldn’t act on it until Monday.
July 27, 1998
I call Doo Dah. I can’t remember how I knew her phone number. I did know that they worked together. I didn’t sleep the night before. Again, thank you journal for accurate notes. I call her and she is stunned to hear from me. I ask to meet her TODAY. She replies that she will have to call JMF. Sure I say. I will wait for you to call me back. I can remember thinking that she has to get permission from him? I am going to celebrate that I will never have to have a man’s permission to do anything in my life; thank you very much.
She calls back and we are to meet in Reston at 11 AM. I set the place and time. I quickly call a dear friend, LM, to see if she can be my wing woman. I tell her the details and she agrees that she will be in Williams Sonoma to keep an eye on me to make sure that I am safe. I’m set. I’m ready.
July 27 11 AM From My Journal
My knee caps are shaking! How do knee caps shake and then I realize that my entire body is shaking. I then begin to write over and over again. Just let me be me. Let my words be worthy and truly reflect who I am.
My Best Recollections
And there she is. I remember wondering what she looks like. I have no idea but then I realize, oh, she knows what I look like. That stung. She sits down and there is this HUGE diamond ring on her left hand. It’s so big that it takes my breath away.
And then it just came out of my mouth. . .something like this after the obligatory thank you for coming:
Me: For the life of me I can’t understand how one
woman could do this to another woman; have an affair.
Doo Dah responds without missing a beat: This is all JMF’s fault.
JMF is the one that started it.
Me: I take a really deep breath; maybe two and respond calmly:
“Well, it takes two to fuck!”
And there it is. The silence. The ugly truth.
Doo Dah is visibly taken aback.
She has nothing back for me.
Me: I wouldn’t wish an affair on my worst enemy
and please believe me,
YOU are my worst enemy.
There was something else that was said but I cannot remember.
Me: I stood up and said: “I promise you this.
I will always be cordial to you when we are in public.”
Then I walked to LM at Williams Sonoma. LM quickly scooped me up and we walked to Clyde’s, one of my favorite restaurants. I went to the bathroom and threw up over and over again until there was nothing left. LM can probably remember this best. I sort of remember a fabulous waitress with a heart of gold that brought me bread. I remember that bread. LM and I sat there and just talked and I told her everything. I couldn’t eat anything except that wonderful bread.
July 28 Writings From My Journal
I write about how Doo Dah implies that the entire blame for the affair is on me. Maybe this is the piece that I can’t remember from the meeting? Thankfully and gratefully my brain doesn’t remember thisI I wrote it so she must have said it. Even more gratefully I don’t buy it. I’m just stunned and disappointed.
I really need to give myself the time
to feel the pain again. . .yet in a new way.
Really clean the wound out.
After having time to sort this experience out,
reflect on words and facial expressions.
I’m better able to translate the Monday experience.
Doo Dah is filled with perceptions about me that are false. Blaming me? This is the hard one and probably the button that got pushed for me when we met. I will readily take responsibility for some things in my marriage but I will never take responsibility for his betrayal.
I have a second chance at life!
Where Is the Sweet Spot?
I believe there are two sweet spots! The first one is that I am beginning to find my voice; speaking my truth to Doo Dah was huge for me and to have such a quick come back! I amazed myself. The other sweet spot was having such a dear friend that would drop everything and surround me with love and just listen to me.
Where’s Your Sweet Spot
What do you say to a person that has acted in hurtful ways to you and they deny it?
How do you handle yourself with a person that is speaking falsehoods about you? What do you do? What do you say? I love your comments because it helps all of us. Let’s be the butterfly in search of the sweet spot. Yes, I took this photo in October 2006.
6 Replies to “Moving The Boulder”
Wow. I’d say you moved that boulder with a mighty shove!
Finding your voice is so empowering and yet also scary as hell. I remember when I was the director at LB, I came to the sad decision that I had to fire a teacher for speaking falsely. Basically she implied to other teachers that she could do whatever she wanted because I liked her. Sigh… I composed a letter so I’d have documentation for her employee file, then I went to the bathroom and burst in to tears. Once I regained my composure, I went back to the office with my red nose and called her in for a meeting. Ugh. So hard. But without fail, every time I fired a teacher for whatever reason, another teacher would come in and thank me. It reminded me that speaking truth is so important and encouraged me to keep practicing the Skill of Assertiveness. Love what Brene says, “Speak truth to bullshit.” I’m all for it.
I also paused and offered up gratitude for the “wing women” in my life. I haven’t had to call on them for such a bombshell as your story here, but I know in my heart they will be there if the moment arises as I will be for them. We are all in this together.
Thanks for sharing your story! I had forgotten Brene’s favorite quote, “Speak truth to bullshit” for sure! Thanks again. . .Jess
I know it’s taken me a while to read your blog posts. I guess it took retirement to do it! The throwing up? Oh I remember that so well. I found pictures of “my” Doo Dah in my house when I went to collect some things for my final move out. I took a butcher knife, put the pictures on the kitchen counter and stabbed them. Then I took the knife to the bed. My bed. Now hers. Sliced up the mattress into shreds. Madness. Temporary insanity.