I used to joke that if anyone were to cheat on me, I would pull a Lorena Bobbitt on them. Who dare cheat on me and get away with it? I was worth so much more than for someone to betray my trust. (Seriously, I wouldn't resort to violence, but you know what I mean. That sassy, “oh no you didn't!” 3-snaps-in-a-Z-formation attitude.)
When it happened to me, however, all I could do was lie on the ground and sob hysterically to the point of vomiting. It was lovely.
My self-worth plummeted as I asked questions like “what can I do to fix this?” or “how would you like me to change?” Even as the words left my mouth, I could feel the bitter taste of assigning the situation entirely to my own failings instead of him being an asshat. I knew those were the wrong questions, but instead of being full of rage and revenge, I was the girl asking for a second chance to fix his screw up. Never in a million years did I think that would happen.
Over five months have passed and I have no idea where the days (and weeks and months) have gone. There are multiple times per day where I just feel I'm in an alternative universe, where one day I'll wake up and I'll have my life partner, best friend, and family back. The gut-wrenching sadness has eased, but the adjustment to this new normal is surreal. The other day at the doctors office I had to update my information, and I had no idea who to put down as my emergency contact. I mean, I have friends that I'm sure wouldn't mind, but it was just another one of those things that I never thought about.
Perhaps that's why I'm starting to crave connections with people. Connections and experiences. Filling the void of unconditional friendship and love that vanished with the glance of a betraying iPad.
Day-to-day my life hasn't changed much at all as he and I worked different schedules and were very independent of one another. But that secruity of friendship and someone having your back (especially as my family isn't around) has been tarnished.
In order to move forward to create my new normal, I'm still asking myself “What is the end game?” I'm also working hard to say “yes” to experiences and just getting out of the damn house (introverts, unite) to keep my other relationships strong and strengthen those that I think could be better.
Because while putting yourself out there after getting knocked down is scary, the alternative – holding back from life – just isn't an option. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to what's ahead. I'm down, but not out.