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The Healing Library
Journal Writings the First Year and Healing Timeline

My H and I are now 3 years past Rday and I have come a long way in my healing journey. I wanted something good to come from my pain and suffering, so I have gone back and retrieved some of my writings from the beginning so that you can see where I was then, compared to where I am now. I am hoping that this will give you concrete evidence that time does help with the healing. These will take some time to read, but they may be helpful

This first writing was just 3 weeks after dday of 4/99. (This affair had started Sept 96) I wrote it to our therapist and read it at a joint session. You will hear my doubts, my fears, my confusion, my pain, my depression, and even a small bit of hope.

Who is the man I married? Who is the man I lived with for 18 years? Who is this man now? How long will he stay? How will I know when the other man comes back?

Since Sept 1996, my son has had 3 birthday parties. We went to my high school reunion. There have been 3 Christmas's, 3 Thanksgiving's, and 3 Valentines Days. My son has had 3 birthdays and I have had 2. We've been to parties...We danced at my son's cotillion. I worked at his office. He took me to lunch. He called me everyday from work. He called me every night when he was away...he called me with her stripping in his room.

How will I know that he has changed for real? How will I know if he is slipping back? How do I live now? How do I go on? Why do I go on...for my son? How do I face our anniversary? How do I buy a card or a gift? How will I decorate the Christmas tree without remembering her when I put the "our first christmas " ball on the tree? How do I shop with my husband when I pass The Limited and remember her? How can I accept gifts from him without remembering her? How can I make love to my husband without remembering her? How do I do simple things like put on my earrings everyday without thinking of her wearing the diamonds that my husband gave to her? How do I go on?

The memories are seared in my brain, my heart and my soul. How do I make the pain stop...the massive, devastating, tortuous and tormenting pain? I feel like a soaker hose and I am bleeding out of a million places-I've been put on life-support and you are trying to save me but I just don't know if you can, or what my quality of life would be if I survive. Do I have the strength to fight anymore? Will it be worth it? If I had died in '82, I wouldn't have had the pain of '83,'84,'93, or '99 and all the years in between. I struggled thru the pain and torture each time and for what? What was my reward...an increasing amount of pain and torture. Is there more in store for 2000 and 2001? Can there be hope? Can he love me? Will he love me? God, that is all I want.

True love that a man has for his wife...what is it? What will it feel like? I can only imagine that it would be grand. I've longed for it,begged for it, pleaded for it and prayed for it. Could it be near?

I used to pray to God that he would let someone hear the silent screams of my heart. I couldn't understand why no one could hear them...to me they were deafening. Three weeks ago, we came to your office and you heard them...finally someone heard...finally someone understood...finally someone cared...finally the screaming stopped and only the pain remains.


If the first one was helpful, then read this one. You will see how I felt a little over 2 months after finding out. You will hear my struggles to understand the situation that I found myself in. I felt worthless, I acknowledged my husband's destructive actions, and at the same time realized that he was trying to make it better.

The Chair
I feel like that old torn-up and battered chair you see turned on it's side at the edge of the road. I was discarded there as if I had no value...just a useless piece of trash. He went searching for another chair...one that was newer...one that was more comfortable...one that could make him feel good. He tried many out. He kept some for a while, but none of them were quite right. He finally began his journey searching for the chair he left on the side of the road. He gently picked it up and brought it home. After being left in the elements for so long it was not quite the same, but he doesn't care. He will tenderly clean it and try to restore it. It is not strong enough to hold him now, but that's OK. He will derive pleasure from working to make it whole, so that one day he can again sit in the most beautiful, comfortable chair in the world.


This was written around 2 month timeframe also. You can see that I wanted to have hope, but I wanted freedom from all the awful feelings that I was having. I was tired and feeling hopeless and helpless. Each minute my feelings were different.

Dreams
I long to feel safe.
I long to feel secure.
I long to have no fears.
I long to have no pain.
I long to be loved.
I long to be happy.
I long for serenity.
I long for death.
I pray for life.
Please dear God answer my prayer.


This was written 7 months after I found out. You can still hear the pain. This was on a bad day as well. There was no health at this point and very minimal healing. I would say at the 7 month mark the pain was 90% and only 10% was...I don't want to use the term happy...because it wasn't happy...it was just OK. I still had doubts about my husband's change and wondered if he had really chosen me for a lifetime.

Please Choose Me
Won't you please choose me? Won't someone choose me? Can't I be first prize? Must I always be the consolation prize? Please, please, please....love me!!! Why do you choose others instead of me? Why can't I be your first consideration? You always seem to choose others. Please choose me. Please choose me. Please choose me.


I posted my old writings in an effort to give hope to those of you who are new at this. The first year for sure is treacherous. You may not feel that you are making progress because you keep slipping back. I did that as well. I felt that I took 2 steps forward and 5 back on many days. Eventually in that first year you may be able to take 4 steps forward and only 3 back....accept this as progress. I cannot say this enough...it is a very tedious and slow process...not smooth sailing at all. Anger comes and goes. Hope comes and goes. Wanting to fight comes and goes. Wanting to try comes and goes. This is all very normal.

To say to someone, "it has been 6 months or a year, you need to just get over it" , doesn't fly. No one wants to be over it more than us. Wanting something doesn't make it happen.

Just as you cannot rush a wound's healing on your body, you cannot rush a wound's healing on your heart, mind and soul. You can try to keep the wound from becoming infected, but you can't speed the healing process.

What you go through that first year, gets you ready for the second year. The further away you get from dday, the easier it becomes. After you get past the year mark don't expect a miracle, just continue your slow and steady climb. Take time to assess your real progress along the way. This helps.

There is no magic milestone. I think that when you get to the one year mark, that is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is good because by golly you made it through one whole year...it is bad because one year also represents the horrible anniversary of discovery.

These were my words prior to my 2 year anniversary of Rday.

Though my 2 year anniversary is coming up in 3 weeks, I am now far enough along in my healing to not view this date as a horrific event in my life. I intend to look at it as the day my chance at attaining my hope of true love from my husband went from fantasy to reality.

I am no PollyAnna here...I won't lie to you. It is hard work, but it can be done. You can find happiness again. I now think that I am now at the 95% happy stage and 5% pain. The pain is in what my mind creates...the triggers that try to rob me of my happiness...but they are fleeting. The pain is in my fear that I cannot truly ever know if my husband may slip in the future. I don't allow myself to dwell on this, as I did in the beginning, because as time goes on and I continue to see his efforts, I find a level of comfort there.

If in order to have the love and life that I now have, I had to go be dragged through Hell, then I guess it was worth it. Our life together now, is far better than some of our friends who have never had to deal with infidelity. There is a way out of the Hell that you may be in right now. My husband and I have blazed a path for you. Keep climbing one rung at a time. You will eventually get to the top.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

I will now add that I am 3 years past dday. At the suggestion of someone else, the term Rday was coined and I now use that, instead of dday. Rday stands for RECLAMATION DAY. Dday has such a negative connotation to it that I no longer thought that it was fitting for my situation. Rday was the day that my H and I reclaimed our life, our love and our marriage.

At the 3 year mark, I would say that the percentages have shifted to 99/1 on the happiness scale. There are still a few unexpected bumps in the road, but together we get past them and keep on walking. There are still triggers, but I no longer feel that gut wrenching pain from the beginning. I acknowledge their presence and even find humor in some of them, now.

Erica

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