To explain where I am today, we are going to have to recap the first 12-18 months post Amy/Heather divorce. It's hard to no what to share, or in what order...it's hard to choose the right words without sounding like a victim...so I am just going to give it a shot and see what we got.
I was married on January 16, 2016.
Growing up, I didn't dream of being a mother. I didn't dream of naming my babies and raising a family. I dreamt about being engaged...of being a bride...of being a wife. One of my most vivid memories is of me playing with my barbies...probably around the age of 6-7. My mom was watching something in our 1980ish living room, blue carpet, couches made of some sort of velour with hideous floral print..and I had my barbie and ken doll, and Ken, via me of course, inserted that little plastic diamond ring into Barbies finger hole...and they lived happily ever after.
Like many of you, I grew up with the Disney idea of love. I believed in one true soulmate. I believed in lifetime love. My parents, although grumpy with each other after 60+ years together, are still married. And mistakenly, and codependently, I believed that I had the capacity to love someone so perfectly, that when I was lucky enough to GET married...I wouldn't "mess it up".
In a way, it makes my heart a little sad to type that. Because I feel that version of Amy, Amy BD (before divorce) was sweeter and softer. Amy BD was more of an optimist and believed in LOVE and people.
To be fair, and now with the last 5 years in the review mirror and with some things learned, my relationship with Heather was not a balanced one. I worshipped her. I thought, long after the divorce too, that she was better than me. That she was too good for me. That I did not deserve her and therefore...I must do everything, all the time, to go above and beyond...to put it in her words "just do better". I think I will save the deep dive into WHY that is for another post...but for now, I feel like I've made my point.
I was married on January 16, 2016. And while I will never know the exact date that marks the start of the affair, my best guess is sometime in June of 2016. I had been married 6 months and my wife was already cheating on me.
But I didn't know it.
I found a text message in October of 2016 that, I can laugh now at how ridiculous I was, that clearly indicated something was going on with her and Gina...but when I confronted Heather with it she 1. begged me not to send Gina's husband the text (uh...red flag anyone), but she convinced me nothing was going on and they were just friends. Within a month...I was in therapy.
Why was I in therapy (beside the fact that we all need one)? Because as more and more happened that would indicate an affair was afoot, I was told that I had issues. I was the crazy one. I had trust issues. I was "losing my mind" and needed to "get help". I remember being on the kitchen floor, in front of the sink, crying and asking her to just tell me the truth. Instead, she told me I was the problem and needed help.
So I got it. My first therapist was a dud. They are out there. Just like all professions. She wasn't the right fit for me. She did a lot of nodding. A lot of "that sounds hard". I need a more aggressive therapist. I want homework and things to work on. So, I saw this therapist once and found another! And she did help. I think of some of the things we covered almost daily. But she was more AFTER we separated.
So we jump to March 2017. Heather was already sleeping in another room. We (she) was talking divorce. March 17, 2017 is the day I found out for sure. The jig was up. And my life would never be the same. That Amy would never be the same.
But it would take me almost another 8 months to really leave Heather (even though she had left me a long time before).
And several more years until I would start to resemble some version of what I had lost.