The other morning I woke early (something I NEVER do), my husband was still asleep beside me. I watched him sleeping peacefully for a while before I felt a familiar pang of jealousy followed by the sharp stab of resentment. I have never slept well since our children were born (our eldest is 21). My ears are always open listening out incase one of them needs me. They are long grown out of needing me in the night now and I am in bed before they are these days but my brain just won’t have it. I need a fan going all night to provide me with enough white noise to block out the little noises that rouse me from slumber. I struggle to fall asleep and often lie there for 2-3 hours before I get there, and sleep best in the morning when I need to be up. I have slept worse than ever in the four years since D-day and the sleep I do get is often plagued with nightmares.
Some nights, as I’m lying there awake, alone apart from my husband’s snoring at the side of me, I can really hate him. How easily he sleeps, like he doesn’t have a care in the world. How can he do that? Even in the midst of his affair, he fell asleep easily and slept well all night-how? How could he say goodnight to me on the phone and then lie in bed next to her 50+ times and go to sleep like it was fine and normal? How could he wake up the following day next to her and then text me good morning? After D-day, while I was awake most of the night being haunted by images of them together and trying to keep myself alive and sane when my world had imploded- what was he doing? Sleeping.
I struggle to understand it. How he can just switch everything off. I guess he’s extremely good at compartmentalising his life and that is not a comforting thought.
Even today, it’s still the first thing on my mind in the morning, and the last thing on my mind at night. It’s no longer crippling, and the time in between is much easier although I still have triggers. We’re doing great overall. I love this man so much. He is still doing the work, he still treats me like a Queen, and I believe he would do anything I needed him to. Often I don’t know what I need, but he is always on hand to help me figure it out. I am so proud of who he has become, but the fact that he had to destroy me in order to reach his rock bottom and turn himself around leaves a bitter aftertaste. I still struggle to forgive myself for staying with him, and it would be easier if betrayal wasn’t glorified all over the media, film & TV and if those who stayed with their unfaithful partners were not portrayed as weak or ‘less than’. Staying has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and it has definitely prolonged my agony. If I had left, I could have gotten over it by now and moved on. Staying has forced me to face up to it every single day, because HE is the biggest trigger of all.
The triggers still come thick and fast, they could be anything- a word, a name, a place, a TV show, a song. Any innocent conversation could set of a chain of connections in my mind that end up being a trigger. It can often be obscure, and while the triggers don’t floor me the way they used to…I’m just so…tired. I am tired of it always being there, lurking in the background and attacking me, often without warning. Exhausted in fact. I am so worn out from fighting these battles every single day. I don’t bother mentioning most of these triggers any more although I know he often notices me flinch. The realisation that this is not going away any time soon and that I may be dealing with this forever leaves me very heavy hearted. I am resentful for everything that has been taken from me; time, energy, peace of mind, self-esteem, confidence, trust. I am resentful for the things that have been left in their place; hate, bitterness, suspicion, cynicism, insecurity, anxiety, depression.
Maybe I just need more time. I can’t bear the thought of carrying this forever. Just the thought of it makes me want to lie down, go to sleep and never wake up. In the meantime, I guess I will have to keep on fighting.