If you are dealing with a recent betrayal from infidelity, I am truly sorry. I want you to know that it does get better. I know, I know, you are wishing that I could give you an exact date so that you could circle it on the calendar and mark off the days until its arrival.
I wish I could give you a date. I remember feeling as overwhelmed and as devastated as you feel right now. February will mark five years since I learned her name and the bottom fell out. I was standing in the kitchen making dinner like any other day when the world stopped.
The following year was filled with emotions I couldn’t control and didn’t understand. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. Most days I had to force myself to get out of bed and remind myself to do simple tasks like brush my teeth. I lived in such a fog, surrounded constantly by swirling thoughts that wouldn’t leave my head. Why? How? Everyone else was moving around in usual patterns, but I was moving around in slow motion, barely able to put one foot in front of the other.
This morning I saw my ex in his truck. I saw that truck and I remembered those feelings. I remembered what it felt like to see that truck in 2008. That lump in my throat. That knot in my stomach. Nearly hyperventilating. Trying not to vomit. For a moment, the thought of those feelings took my breath away. I could almost feel the pain that I felt back then.
I remembered the thoughts that flooded my brain when I used to see that truck. Was she with him? Is he on his way to meet her? Could he possibly still love me the way that I loved him? Did he ever think of me? Why can’t he see that I need him? Doesn’t he care? Make it stop. Make it go away. No more pain. Don’t vomit in public. Or in your car. Or anywhere. Make it stop.
I think I saw that truck this morning and momentarily felt those old emotions to remind me that others are on this journey. Others are searching for answers to the same questions that I had. Others looking for relief from the constant pain.
I saw that truck that symbolizes that pain for me and I knew that I should take a moment to tell you that it really does get better. Eventually those feelings fade. You become numb to the pain. You start to smile spontaneously, no longer forcing it for the benefit of others. You function and you go on about your day without wondering if he will ever come home. You create a new life. You do things because you enjoy them, not because you want to prove to him that you are worthy or prove to the world that you are okay. You can actually see your ex and no longer want him to come home. No longer long for what was.
In fact, when you see his truck, let’s say five years later, it might cause you to catch your breath, but you can sigh with relief because those feelings are just memories.