Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pouring My Heart Out....Betrayal and Its Ugly Aftermath

The jagged knife felt cool against the heat of my skin, as I lightly dragged it up and down the length of my left arm.  The faded scent of his cologne still lingered in the air, much to my disheartenment.

"I had a great time last night.  Can't wait to be with you again," she had said on my husband's voice mail.  "I'd love to be a fly on the wall while you're listening to this if the wife is in the room with you."

Her words, filled with amusement and pleasure, echoed repeatedly in my head.  Her scornful laughter still rang in my ears, long after my anguished cries of betrayal had ceased.

Even as my heart shattered into a million tiny fragments, the events of that morning were still a blur.

There had been a heavy feeling in my gut as I awoke when I felt propelled to listen to my first husband's voice mail.  Everything in my nature screamed out at me to pay attention to the signs, especially when just a few days prior, I had seen her number appear on the screen of his pager.

More disturbing was the flash of glee displayed all over his face when he received that page.  He thought I hadn't noticed his reaction, but I had.  The smile on his face was now forever etched into my brain while my heart pounded ferociously inside my chest...the same way it had, two years earlier, when I first laid eyes on him across a crowded dance floor.

And now here I sat, crumbled in a heap of battered nerves, on the cold floor of our kitchen with a broken heart and crushed spirit, contemplating ending my journey on this earth.  Our small apartment was dark, except for the faint light down the hall, coming from the Disney-themed nightlight which we had purchased on our honeymoon.

My eyes became overwhelmed with bitter tears, yet again, thinking back to a happier time in our marriage.  A marriage that was supposed to last forever.  Hadn't we both promised to be faithful?  Why couldn't he have upheld his end of the deal?

No enlightening answers came to mind.  My head throbbed violently, as another crashing wave of misery exploded from the depths of my soul.

My emotional scars ran deep; however, he had taken me by surprise and made me feel important, needed....loved.

"I would never hurt you.  I love you," he would say, when my fears would get the best of me.

And I had chosen to believe him.  MY choice...one that I would come to regret.

As I dug the sharp blade of the knife deeper into my wrist, I felt very little pain.  Just an immense rush of relief that soon I would no longer be ravaged by the despair and agony, which promised to defeat me.

Love seizes our innocent hearts in a choke-hold so tightly, and sometimes unknowingly, slowly suffocating us until we are dizzy and weak.  To some, whom are constantly seeking to keep that intense fire burning within them, it's the exact high they crave.  

But, for me, it was a price I wasn't willing to pay any longer.  The suffering was much too traumatizing and my blemished heart begged for consolation. 

He would be the last to make a fool out of me.  Never again would I allow someone to break down these walls and violate my heart, my trust, my being.

As I drew in another mournful breath, my grip on the razor-sharp knife tightened.  The malicious weapon taunted, and finally pleaded, with me to commit the final act.   End this miserable, worthless life already.

I wanted nothing more than to plunge the virulent blade deep into my veins and then, in the stillness of that moment, witness the life literally pour out of me...drop by drop, little by little...until there was not one measly ounce of grief or distress coursing through my body.

Yet, I couldn't do it.

As much as I wanted to end the sadness right there and then, I was consumed with an overpowering urge to find my way through the darkness and pick up the phone.  Call someone....anyone who would listen without judging.

I didn't want to be subjected to a sanctimonious lecture from a well-meaning friend or family member. Yes, I was being selfish....yes, I was taking the cowardly way out....and, yes, I should be considering  how my death would affect others.

They'd always be left wondering if they could've done something differently, said something more meaningful...they would be haunted, attempting to recall the last time they had hurled an effortless "I love you" in my direction.

Clutching the phone in desperation, I found myself calling the Suicide Prevention Hotline.  Never in a million years did I think I'd be one of those desperate people, looking for comfort...a friendly voice...a lifeline.

In between my sorrow-filled cries, I recounted the last 24 hours to a counselor, who listened quietly without interrupting, except to acknowledge my pain-filled words with a gentle "I understand" every few minutes.

Then, when I could finally catch my breath, she said, warmly, "You matter."

"I matter?" I asked, waiting for yet another confirmation from a total stranger that my life counted for something.

She repeated, a little louder this time, "Yes, YOU matter."

Those words, as simple as they may seem, saved my life that night.

I mattered.  Maybe not to my soon-to-be ex-husband but somehow, in some way, my life mattered.

After that somber and harrowing night, I picked up the scattered pieces of my life and began to put them back together, never telling another soul, other than that complete stranger on the other end of the line, how close I came to taking my own life.

And my heart?  Well, that was another story.  It took quite awhile to mend the damage that had been done.

Even when I thought I could trust again, the sad realization was that my heart would always bear the irreparable scar of a love gone wrong...of many loves gone wrong.

We may move on, we may smile again...we might even be fortunate enough to find our one true love amidst the wreckage, after enduring many trial runs which undoubtedly affect us, both for the good and the bad.

But one thing is certain...after all the hardship and broken hearts....nothing is so traumatizing that we can't move past it, with the gentleness of time and patience.  Even the bitterness of betrayal, as crippling as it is.

In the end, we all matter.  If you believe nothing else, believe that.


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54 comments:

melissa78 said...

Thank You for sharing your story!!! ((hugs))

The Lane Family said...

Helene,

Thank you for sharing...that is really revealing and sad and touching and a good point to remember.."we all matter".

MommyLovesStilettos said...

WOW. I have goosebumps head to toe. I can absolutely relate and understand. *HUGS*

Aimee said...

Sad and beautiful all at the same time... and raw, your emotions come through as if it happened yesterday. Knowing that we all count is one thing, hearing it from someone in that very moment is something entirely different!

Donna said...

Dammit, Helene! I'm at work! But I couldn't resist coming over here knowing that your PYH posts are always soooooo awesome!

So many thoughts to respond as well! I have been close to where you were, but my method was anoxeria - because I wanted/needed to disappear. I felt I wasn't worth being here. ;-( It's been a long time since I visited those thoughts. And my brother did end his life a year ago. Isn't it funny that I can't write another sentence/thought after that last one?

Anyway - You are such an amazing and beautiful soul to come up through the ashes like you have and triumphed over so much. WHEN we MEET in person, I'm going to topple you over with a BEAR HUG!

Thanks for bearing your soul once again!

purseblogger said...

Helene--I love you!

Marianne said...

Oh, that gave me chills. You wrote such a sad story so beautifully. I was reading a book yesterday, "Little Bee," and in it she said, "sad stories are always beautiful because it means the person lived to tell it" and that couldnt be more true here.

I'm so sorry for the heartache and darkness you suffered, but am so thankful you have such a rich & beautiful life now.

Shell said...

It didn't take long for me to start tearing up at this. I'm SO GLAD, SO glad, that you found your way out of that situation.

Lin said...

Thank you for sharing. It's beautifully written & so real.

Jenna said...

Thank you for pouring your heart out, in vivid detail, in the raw and honest way you did. So powerful. wow.

Eva Gallant said...

Wow. That was compelling. I'm sure with the life you now have, you, too, are glad you didn't end it then.

Kaylee said...

What an amazing and strong post. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am so happy that you were able to find your way out of that horrible position!

Charlene said...

WOW! From someone who's "been there" too. Having someone say you matter or you're worth it. Means all the difference in the world.

I'm glad you're here :-) Thanks for sharing your story.

MommaKiss said...

Know the title of this here blog? Living Proof? Damn right. I'm so glad you called that hotline. And you're here to tell us about it. Doesn't make your ex's actions ok. But you don't need to dwell on him now. I don't think you are.
Thank you for sharing this. Powerful.

heather@it'stwinsanity said...

I am so glad that you made that call that changed-saved-your life. I have a strong desire to kick your ex-husband's face in though. I hate that other people have so much power over us in relationships like that. Thanks for sharing your story.

Creative Junkie said...

I'm sorry you experienced this, Helene. I firmly believe that it's from low moments like these that we really learn how high we can rise.

DaisyGal said...

that was so powerful that I was crying at the very end, and so happy that you came through it, to be able to write that beautiful piece for all of us.

"You Matter" ...once again the power of words just amazes and humbles me.

Thank you for sharing that.

Cheryl Lage said...

Helene, you DO matter---so much, to so many. Thank you for making that call...and for surviving.

YOU rock---truly, you do.

The No Wonder Mom said...

Beautifully written. It took so much strength to do what you did. And what a great testimony to your final words in this post. We all matter.

Kim said...

Oh, man. I didn't know that's how your first marriage ended. Really moving post.

The horrible truth is that I might kill him before I'd kill myself (if I didn't have kids--I guess I couldn't do that to them. But I'd be tempted.)

This Daddy said...

damn. That is heavy. No jokes today from me

MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I kept waiting for you to say this was a piece of fiction you wrote, although I knew that wouldn't be the case for this blog post.

I am so thankful - for you, and for Tim and your four beautiful children - that you couldn't complete that task, that you picked up the phone and made that call.

Thanks for sharing your story in such a powerful way. And "you matter" are truly words to live by.

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Wow ~ what a story you had to tell!! I still have tears in my eyes! Good for you for being so brave as to share this story with so manyothers ~ and I'm sure you have savid some young girl's life today as she reads this and can see that, ~ Yes there is Life and Light at the end of the tunnel! Good for you!! Beautiful!

Samantha said...

It took a lot of courage to post this. Very deep. But a good message.

Mrsbear said...

So glad this ended the way it did. Thank you for sharing this. This low moment made you so much stronger and the message is sound. You matter. We all do.

Mighty M said...

Gut wrenching yet so compelling and well-written.

Angela said...

What a hard story to tell. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. I know your story will help others!

MamaHen Em said...

Oh wow, Helene. This just makes my heart hurt for you. Thank you for sharing.

Heather said...

What a jerk he was! I'm so glad you called that hotline so I could have the privilege of getting to know you!

blueviolet said...

Helene, that was gripping. I felt like I was right there sitting next to you feeling what you were feeling. I know that kind of pain must have been insurmountable in that moment, but I am glad you fought through.

Ms.Wasteland said...

Thank goodness you got out of that situation. I love the motto "We all matter". It's so true and a good one for everyone to remember.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

That could've been my story. I remember those same emotions of finding out the betrayal and just wanting to curl up in a fetal position and die. You described your emotions so eloquently. You are now living the light at the end of the tunnel.

Jenny said...

OMG, Helene. You are so brave to share your story. I'm sure this post will help so many people!

Alicia said...

Oh my..I can only imagine what you must have been going through during that time. Praise God that that person on the other line helped save your life that night!! Thank you for sharing such a private moment.

ashley said...

You're such a beautiful writer. You captured and shared the feelings of that time in your life so well! I'm so sorry you went through this, but am SUPER glad you made it through and have the great family that you do now.

Kelli said...

Thank you Helene. This has been an exceptionally difficult week for me. Thank you for telling me that I matter. Thank you for telling your story. You have no idea how many people you will touch by sharing this. God bless.

Mrs Montoya said...

That is so haunting and so beautifully written. I admire you for putting it out there and having the strength to share something so painful for you. And what a blessing that you are way on the other side of it now with your beautiful family.

Buckeroomama said...

Darn right you matter.

Thank you for sharing this, Helene. {{hugs}}

Twinpossible said...

I think most of us have been to that place, if not phsyically then at least mentally. The things that break you down, are honestly the things that in the end, build you up and make you the strong, amazing, survivor that you turn out to be. Also in everything there is a plan! HE was not in God's plan for you. You being here is in God's plan.

Indeed everybody matters. No man would ever be worth losing the beauty that you bring into this world. His loss!

Hugs,
Shelly

http://www.twinpossible.com/blog

Mich said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I know it wasn't easy. But hopefully it can be an inspiration to others out there that think they have no hope. And the counselor was right YOU DO MATTER.

Kim said...

I recently lost my beloved brother to a successful attempt. I wished he had known that he mattered to so many of us. This is such a personal story. Thanks for sharing. I joined to follow.

KS Photography said...

Wow Helene, I never knew. So glad you had the strength to go see someonethat could tell you how much you matter! Hopefully this story will help out another woman that is having problems. Great words to remember... You Matter!

Thank you for telling your story

Twins Squared said...

Wow - I had forgotten that you had even been married but now that you mentioned it I remembered reading it. What a horrible thing to have gone through. You know, you remind me of my step-sister in so many ways. Your backgrounds are very similar and she too has overcome so much. But she will always be dealing with the demons of her past as I'm sure you will be as well. I think you are incredible - look at the very strong person you have become. I see someone who has had a lot of trial in life and yet not only do you handle in a positive way all those things you have to deal with on the inside, but then take care of your 4 young kids to boot! I think you will have INVALUABLE experience and wisdom to share and pass onto your children. You are amazing!

And glad you have a good man like Tim, even if you don't understand anything he does. :) Your comment so made me laugh. So glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. I don't get my husband much at all.

Rachel said...

Wow... What an amazing story showing how strong a person can be. Thanks for reminding me that we ALL matter...

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

At first I was freaking out, then I remembered (b/4 I read 1st husband) that you were married before. Then I started freaking out again when I realized what you were really writing about. I'm so glad you realized that you DO matter. Because you matter to me, Tim, the kids & everybody that loves you. Thanks for sharing your story.

Henley on the Horn said...

You ABSOLUTELY matter. Thank you for sharing this!!!

Amy W said...

Wow, Helene. You have an amazing story and an amazing way of telling it. Powerful!! When are you going to submit your stuff to a publisher? You already have a lot of it written right here.

debi9kids said...

You are just incredible.
What a beautiful heart & soul you have. I'm so glad you hae your wonderful family to share it with.
Bless you Helene and thank you for baring your soul like this.

EasterApril said...

Thank you for sharing this! This could have been my story as well....married high school sweetheart, an anonymous phone call from his co-worker saying "did you know your husband is having an affair", the betrayal, etc. When I left, I contemplated ways to end it all and chose counseling instead. My second husband and I have been married for 22 years and will watch our oldest daughter graduate from college in May and her sister will be a college graduate next year. We all matter...Leesa

Tiffany said...

I love you Helene. You matter to me.

Jen said...

Oh Helene, I had no idea you went through this. I am just so glad you made that call and that you have moved on beyond "whats his face". We may not talk as often as we should, but you matter very much to me. I can't imagine a world without you in it somewhere!

Thank you for sharing! You are an inspiration to me.

Liz said...

Thank you for opening up. I just left my husband in October after finding out he was still married to someone else. And that I was in fact his THIRD wife. Now I'm picking up the pieces and starting over with our 18 month old daughter. And life is getting better.

Debbie said...

Helene. You are amazing. You are such a strong woman whose zest for life comes out in all of her posts. I had no idea you had this experience.
And you are also an incredibly gifted writer.
I am thankful you called that number.

Sadia said...

Oh, Helene. I love you.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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