In the 20 years we have been married my Husband and I have
been involved in the community no matter where we have lived. Sometimes we are very well known throughout
the community other times we have been under the radar. The last 3 years we have
been highly involved in the motorcycle club community and the community at
large. We are both very well known, my
husband more so since he was the member with a patch on his back (no longer a
member). So, when I found out he had been cheating on me for 3 years past the
first discovery date, it was a little bit more shameful. More shameful than the
first time I found out in 2015 when we were known throughout the small
High profile infidelity is a whole new beast when it comes
to recovering. You walk around feeling like all eyes are on you. Everyone is watching and waiting to see what
you are going to do. You can feel it
everywhere you go. My heart races when
I go out in public especially if my husband is with me. The only way to avoid this would be to move.
In the meantime, we are stuck living in this community until the kids finish
this year in school.
My whole attitude for being called
the Mrs. or the wife has changed. For
some reason being my called my husband’s wife makes me cringe. I am my own person. I am not the one who cheated. His actions have nothing to do with me. I am not just his wife. I have many identities. I am the innocent
victim in all this. The last three years I did everything I could to provide my
husband with what he needed to flourish, in turn I feel embarrassed by the
amount of support I gave him.
For now, being called my husband’s wife is a cringe worthy word. Hopefully in time and lots of therapy I will be able to overcome the title that comes with being married. It is strange how your views of marriage change dramatically after you have been through betrayal. You may want to keep me off the list for invitations to a wedding.
One of the most difficult symptoms of betrayal P.T.S.D. and trauma are the triggers. Triggers can be physical or mental and can wreck havoc on your health. For a long time I had difficulty explaining what it was like having triggers day-in and day-out. Below is the best way I could describe it.
You can start by imagining yourself as a small lake, the beautiful sandy shores are the barrier you built to protect yourself. You have existed for a long time with nothing disturbing your waters and the shores, but the occasional wind and rain (kids, family, work, etc.) until the unexpected happened. A rare category 4 hurricane named Betrayal barreled through your waters and damaged your shoreline. Not only did Hurricane Betrayal spend a good amount of time breaking down your shores, it also broke down a rocky ledge 1000 ft above you. Within a day this ledge starts to crumble. The very first piece to fall from the ledge is a boulder the size of a Semi-Truck. This boulder disturbs your peace and safety over a period of a few days reminding you of the hurricane. The next boulder that falls into your water is the size of a pick-up truck. This boulder disturbs you for a day. The next boulder is the size of a compact car, you are disturbed a little less than the previous boulders but dislike how it reminds you of Hurricane Betrayal. You have these boulders sporadically crashing down for a few months. They vary in size. Every day you are unsure what type of rock is going to be falling into your water and what memories it will stir up. It could be any size at any given moment. This makes you worried, edgy, panicked, and nervous every minute of every single day. Every single pebble that comes down from that ledge reminds you of Hurricane Betrayal.
After 6 months of large boulders, rocks and pebbles disturbing your waters, you no longer identify as a lake, you are unsure what you are. You become highly sensitive to anything that touches your water or shoreline. The wind and rain (children, family, friends, finances, work) pick away at your shores little by little even if just a minuscule amount. Everything that touches your water leaves its mark on you. You are in constant fear of no longer being a lake, of a boulder completely crashing down into your water destroying all the shoreline you have left after Betrayal hit.
Years goes by, you are exposed to the wind and rain. The ledge letting boulders, rocks and pebbles go is something you accept being there. You are still a lake, like before. You have weathered through it all. You even made it through another hurricane. Some days you would have a boulder and tiny rocks land in your water. On other days the ledge would drop pebbles all day long. Gradually over time the ledge stopped dropping the boulders and only dropped pebbles and an occasional stone. Sometimes the stones would be significant and sometimes not. There was a week where you didn’t have anything fall into your water. The ledge you kept constant eye on no longer looks like a ledge. You can barely see where it was. You will always remember what that ledge looked like right after Hurricane Betrayal hit. You will not forget the damage Betrayal and that ledge did to you, but you might appreciate what it made you become.