Apparently, once you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.
I call bullshit. I pity the naivety of the fool who is incapable of realising (italics) that there is no limit to how bad things could get.
I resent the implication that I was ever at rock bottom. I wasn’t defeated. Those who believed otherwise simply don’t know me, and have proved that they don’t deserve to.
Still riddled with grief and guilt and weighted down with the responsibility of my broken family solely on my back, Peter and I agreed to make conscious decision to salvage our marriage.
I had missed my husband terribly in the time we’d been separated. I’d had more sexual interactions and opportunities and in such disgusting abundance I’m unsure whether to be proud or ashamed. I had my choice of men, both single and married. Promiscuous fun didn’t compare with the comfort of sleeping next to Peter. Slipping into bed against him, limbs entangled and holding hands as if our human need for sleep required each other are incomparable to lustful encounters and superficial affection from the perpetual well of partners. As polar opposite as we were in personality, Peter was my other half, my best friend, my soul mate.
I loved him more than he could or would ever know, and I wanted to heal the wounds I’d created. He loved me and hated me simultaneously. I was the only person who could stop the hurt, but as the months played out, I realised my very presence in his life kept the wound open. I know he tried, but bitterness and distrust from my betrayal was still corroding his heart. My big, immovable bull of a man was too stubborn in his hurt to see that his selfish detachment had hurt me just as much. Nevertheless, I owed it to my husband, our girls, the life we’d shared and the future we’d once never doubted would exist side by side to cop his hurtful verbal tirades. Had I known how deep a wound I would cause, I would have erased my actions if I had the power.
Some things can never be repaired, once broken. I am responsible for the consequences of my actions, but I’d have traded that sorrowful wisdom for Peter’s unbroken heart in an instant. He needed me to feel the extent of the damage. He needed to hurt me, and I felt I deserved it. I deserved to be destroyed to the depths that I’d destroyed him.
Rock bottom was drawing nearer, and depression was charming me with its dark, seductive harmonies, and haunting hypotonic motif.
I was miserable and withdrawn. His insatiable innate desire to make me pay weakened my very will to live. Prior to my infidelity and the separation, I thought his stone cold detachment was hurtful . Then enduring the viscous molten guilt of hurting him proved gut wrenchingly more immense. It was his resentment, his cruel spiteful words and the sheer disdain in his eyes that was even more unbearable. He would attack my character from every angle, using his intimate knowledge of my character weaknesses to stab the emotional knife right where it would inflict maximum impact. I was now damaged goods. He only used that term once, hoping it would break my confidence to a crippled and disabled level.
I felt like damaged goods. I’d learned how to give a hand job at age 4, living with the inescapable shame of my irreparable tarnish. Damaged was my default setting, and my very existence would inevitably also infect my beautiful daughters. Peter reassured me of that. Thoughts of suicide plagued me. I love my children too much to blatantly hurt them with the skewed ideals of a mother who’s confidence revolves around sexual attention. I couldn’t exorcise the bad from my character. The damage was permanent and incurable.
Rock bottom. It was so close I could feel it flirtatiously stroking my shattered ego, offering me comfort and respite from the agony of being me.
My own gluttony for inebriation rendered me incapable on the night my misery threatened to consume me. I had nothing left to offer life that night. Life had its own agenda though, perhaps wanting me to commit those dark, empty moments to a chapter in time to reflect upon in time. Another moment as a still frame of my journey, now passed and unable to be changed or edited.
I loved him, but it was swim or sink. Self-preservation or suicide.
For the second time, I gave up on my marriage. I chose failure over a future shrouded with guilt and destruction. I can no longer hope to reclaim my marriage, but I no longer wear a trench coat of guilt and shame as a wardrobe staple.