Emotions are intense when a betrayal is discovered. Trust and hearts are shattered. The illusion of walking lockstep down the path of life explodes leaving a gaping gnarly crater. The couple careens into the bottom, bloody, stunned and disoriented.
For the betrayed there is traumatic aftershock. Imagine you're at the movie theater and the digital surround sound is showing off at the start and there is a deep bam! and the theater shakes and noise reverberates. It's like that on your soul.
My first response was to yell and scream and cuss and go all B-movie on Ann. I stomped about interrogating her for details of their relationship. I'm sure there were some howcouldyou's mixed in there. After a couple hours of this I finally wore down and needed a break. And the immensity of the lies and deception seemingly grew to be measured in tons.
Following that initial day I was often irritable and aggressive. The littlest slight, or perceived slight, was magnified a thousand times precipitating an angry spewing of venom. I don't know what's more fragile than egg shells, but that's what Ann was walking on. My anger was unpredictable.
When I wasn't in aggressive mode I was stunned. It felt as if I was outside my self looking at another's life. The denial was broken but it was taking my soul a while to take in all the truth. I was experiencing the drastic morphing of my life and also watching it. It's hard to put into words. I was aware, but from a distance and also incredibly numb.
I could sit in our over sized recliner for the duration of the day, staring at nothing in particular. The reverberation from the revelation was still trembling in my soul and I sat still, letting the pain do it's thing on me. I didn't need a TV. I had tapes of haunting visions to keep me company.
I guess you could say I was struck dumb by the enormity of the betrayal. I wasn't belted in the chair, but I couldn't seem to move other than to rock an inch or two when my soul twitched. I spent hours a day listening to my own breaths.
I sat obsessing about Ann's affair. The images and unanswered questions would roll around my brain like wet clothes newly inserted in the dryer. I wanted more answers and details. My illusion was that more details would lead to more understanding. If I could understand it, make sense of it rationally, then I wouldn't ache so intensely. So, I interrogated Ann.
What about the time here and what happened when you went there how come you did this why didn't you do that did you ever think what you were risking why didn't you tell me did you meet there did he ever come here did his wife know???? Tell me it all again.
I believed that knowing more would ease the pain. And it worked...for a millisecond. The pain would pour back through viaducts and then, whataboutthis and whatwasthedealonthat over and over and over again.
With the pain I was feeling rabid hatred for my wife. I hurt and I hated the one who made me hurt. Yet, that wasn't all I felt. Ann and I had been through so much already. She was my best friend on the planet. I loved her. It was crazy making when the pain was screaming to seek comfort in Ann's arms and then realizing the one who betrayed me was the one holding me. It felt good and I hated it.
I loved the bride of my youth and hated her. She never knew which one would walk through the front door after work and she never knew which one might return from the living room to the kitchen after only five seconds had passed.