Suffering Devastation and Grief Loss
My ex and I had our ups-and-downs as all couples do. We had separated and gotten back together a couple of times. After a year of living back together, she began acting strange. I had been cheated on previously so I recognized the feeling and patterns. When someone becomes ‘cold’ toward you it is a telltale sign that they have turned their attention elsewhere.
One evening she said she was going shopping. I fed the kids and put them to bed and was patiently waiting for her return. She was gone almost 4 hours, returned late, and was empty handed. When you have been with someone for many years, in this case it was over 10 years, you know their habits and behaviors. I am certain that she had never returned empty handed from shopping as she loved to shop. When she returned, I asked, “Where were you?”. She told me where she had shopped and that she stopped for a drink. I could tell by her shifting eyes that she was lying to me.
Over the next couple of days, she stayed up late on our family computer. That was not abnormal, but when I walked into the room, she quickly clicked off from what she was doing. I knew something was up. The next day, I checked the web browser history and there was nothing abnormal. I decided to check the Yahoo Messenger chat log. I guess she did not realize that Yahoo Messenger had a log feature that I had turned on for the safety of my children. You can guess what I found.
A couple of weeks prior to this, she had mentioned to me about a little person at her work and that she thought was funny (of good humor), and had also mentioned his name. This is who she was talking to on the computer. The things they were talking about were quite lude and explicit. I had the unfortunate experience of not being able to un-see this.
This was the third (3rd) time she had been unfaithful. I was shocked and in disbelief. I was sick to my stomach and completely devastated! We had been together for over 10 years, and although we had our ups-and-downs, we had worked hard to have a good relationship. We had children together. We had a good relationship most of the time. We communicated well. I truly loved her.
I was heartbroken. I left for good this time and the two years that followed were hell. On one hand I was devastated. On the other hand, I was relieved. I realized that my ex had some serious emotional issues that she had not worked through.
I have shared this story with a few people. Each one of them asked me if it was a blow to my ego. The answer is no. I have a healthy self-esteem overall. I realized that my ex was looking for or needing something that I could not give her. Unrequited attention. She liked being looked at by other people even if it was in shock or them pointing fingers. An exhibitionist so to speak. She ended up marrying the little man and now, over 10 years later, they are still together. I hope they are happy.
Even though I was heartbroken over the loss of the relationship, it does not even compare for what was to come. The next year-and-a-half was spent in court in a nasty custody battle over our 2 children. I expected there to be some hassle with the her and the ‘family’ court system. I represented myself because I could not afford attorney fees. I had done this in the past with no trouble. I was not prepared for the lies.
The first thing that happened was she refused to speak to me about anything, even related to our children. She would relay information through the children. (PARENTS: Please do not do this to your children! It is just wrong. Grow up and be an adult! As much as it hurts or is hard, the demise of your relationship is NOT their fault.) I was forced to go through the court to have a shared custody arrangement. We had gone through the court in the past when we separated the first time and there were no issues.
As we were going through the court system, there were a lot of things going on. She was partying a lot and leaving the children at home alone (then 8 and 9 years old), or in the care of her 12-year-old son who was having some emotional issues of his own. I brought these things up to the court. At one point, I had full custody of them and honestly, we were very happy! She sent her son to her sisters, and shortly after came the lies. The result was I was forced out of my two babies’ lives.
I don’t even know how to describe the pain that I experienced. I cannot even imagine what my children went through. In a state of devastation and dismay, I wandered aimlessly for a year and tried to drink the pain away. I tried to make sense of everything. I tried to make new friendships and I walked and walked, trying to find some peace. Nothing worked. I ended up breaking my back (see this blog post) and moving to Michigan to be close to my family.
None of this has been easy for me. It is difficult to talk about and write about. There have been times that I have considered suicide. There have been times that I have drank myself into a near death state. There have been days at a time that I could not eat or function.
Last year my oldest of the two turned 18. I waited for the day that he would contact me. He finally did! It was like a piece of my heart was put back in place. I found out (as I had suspected) that he has been a victim of parental alienation. Fortunately, he was old enough to remember everything, and was smart enough to be able to eventually sort through much of it. My youngest turns 18 this year and I am hoping for the same.
In all this I have tried to find some peace. I have sought solace, and forced myself to forgive. I have had to find things that keep me occupied, and be extremely patient. I have had to force myself to ensure that I have an outlet (see this blog post). I don’t know if there will be a truly ‘happy’ ending to this. A grief loss is not easy. I do know that inner peace is possible, and as time goes by it does get easier.
A couple of notes:
-Time heals all wounds.
-Parents should not be visitors.
-Do everything possible to foster a positive relationship between your ex and your children. DO NOT talk negatively about the other parent.
-If you are struggling and considering suicide, please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline / Hotline 1-800-273-8255
-If you want to reach out to me – send an email: ctiexec @ gmail . com