In her last post, Thriving on the Other Side had begun to delve deeply into her psyche with the help of her therapist and eye movement light therapy. Then came the blow-up when the man she loved canceled on her and left for Europe on business. Just she when she thought it couldn’t get any worse…
I crawled off the floor and managed to pull myself together some hours later. I had work to do. Besides, I needed something to distract me from the aching feeling that this time I’d pushed him too far; he was gone. And there was nothing I could do about it. He was on a plane to Europe by now. Out of reach in so many ways.
I made coffee, grabbed a cup and went to my computer. When I opened it, there was a web browser open with my guy’s web mail open. I started to close it and then the words “I love you” in a subject line caught my eye. When had I written that? But then I saw it. “Can’t wait to see you for Labor Day” was another subject.
My heart stopped, just like they say it does in all those novels. And then the pain hit as the reality of what I was reading sunk into my consciousness. There were many emails to many other women, right there on the page. I opened them and began to read, shaking and then sobbing. Someone had cut into my heart and belly. I couldn’t breathe. My hands shook as I opened one after the other in rapid fire. Scanning the words as the truth slowly broke through my dazed state.
The words in these emails were the same as the ones he’d written to me at different points in our relationship. Apparently he had three others in various states of seduction and a new one just falling in love. His emails to her were word for word the emails he’d sent me when he was courting me. Like he’d copied and pasted them all from a template on How to Get Women.
In that moment, I knew I’d never be the same again. Over the years there had been a litany of cheating men. Guys who appeared to be the best guys ever, cheaters all in the dark of night. And now the love of my life, the man I’d trusted implicitly, was the worst one of all.
I wanted to die, right there, right then. It was the only way I could think of to stop the pain.
The sob that arose from me reminded me of the cry of a wild deer just as the mountain lion sinks her teeth deep — when it knows that death is near. I made it to the couch, curled up in a ball and didn’t move for hours. How could I sob even more? I was already wasted from this morning. But sob I did, until the breath left me, then sobbing more.
I sobbed for 26 straight hours, until I was sitting in the office of my therapist, ready for my EMDR session the next day. So far I’d only scratched the surface — betrayal by the last guy I’d dated, and the one before that and the one before that — all the way back to getting stood up at the altar at 22 by the first love of my life. Today we were planning on going deeper. Who knew what would happen now.
I was broken, devastated by his betrayal — embarrassed and still incredulous at the whole obvious truth laid out in front of me. How could I have been such a fool? There had to be another answer. But there wasn’t. He was a cheat, had been all along. And I’d been such a trusting innocent that I hadn’t seen the truth. And now my life, the very core of who I am, was so wrapped up with him I didn’t even know where to begin to start over. All I wanted was to die. I truly couldn’t take anymore.
Through sobs and wails I told Sue the whole story. She shook her head — she was already up to speed on my twenty something other relationship catastrophes — but this one was the worst of all.
This time I had believed. Completely. The worst thing that could ever happen to me had happened. From out of nowhere, the man who I’d trusted with my heart and soul had betrayed me in the worst of ways.
How would I ever recover?
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