I wish a lot of things

A friend of mine wanted me to read a poem she read. She thought of me and my husband… it was about rekindling love. It made me cry. It also made me smile to know she is a newer friend and really cares about my happiness and wanted to encourage me to see passed the difficult moments and remember why I loved my husband in the first place.

I was sad today though. I’ve been a little sad since Sunday morning. My parents live in the same town as the man I had an affair with. So every time I go there, I’m reminded. I pass the street he lives on… and have to fight the temptation to drive by his house. There are little things I think of that remind me of him. I smile and then feel guilt and try to quickly forget and not allow myself to indulge in the memory.

Today I felt like I was morning the friendship. I think when I first decided to come home and work on things (I’ve really always been home, I just mean that I wasn’t going to try and think of how to leave anymore), I didn’t have much hope. Part of me felt like I was only saying goodbye to him for a little while… maybe it would only be a couple of weeks or a month before my marriage was clearly over and even if I didn’t start a relationship with him, I could go back to the comfort and friendship we had. I knew that wasn’t healthy so I’ve fought the memories and reminiscing. It’s not fair to Mr. Smith. I’ve already been so unfair to him. I guess I just realized today, I’m really never every going to see him or talk to him again – ever.

I cried a while. A few times. I don’t remember faces well, so when I care about someone I stare pretty intently trying to remember the lines of their lips, nose… eyes. My husband would always ask me why I was looking at him when he would drive. I hate that I forget such important physical details. If I don’t have a picture my memories become very blurry. When I dream, mostly, no one has faces. I hate that. I love when the moonlight streams in the window, so I can look at my husband while he sleeps and just remember. The last night I was with the other man, we were going to sleep and he shut off the TV and then quickly said “oops, I will turn that back on for you and shut the volume off.” I looked at him strangely and asked why, he said that he noticed I like to just watch him sometimes so I might like a little light from the TV.  I know my husband knows things like this about me, but for some reason I kept remembering this today and how nice it was for him to notice something so small about me and to consider it.

I’ve always wished Mr. Smith wouldn’t shut all the blinds at night. I hate it. I like the moonlight. I like to look out the windows. When he comes home, he closes everything up even before its dark in the summer time. I like to wake up to the sunlight on my face, but the blinds are drawn and the curtains pulled tight. Whenever I go to sleep alone or ahead of him, I leave the curtains open. 

I’m sure my husband notices way more about me than I realize. I just sometimes wish he would tell me. I wish he would let me see myself through his eyes more.

I hope the feelings fade even more as the weeks progress. It seems every time I’m afraid, I want to run to the other man. I have no contact. I don’t have his number, I didn’t memorize it before I deleted it. All my online accounts have him blocked and my husband watches closely. I know I can’t easily contact him, which is good and necessary. I just wish I didn’t care about him at all. I wish he didn’t matter to me. I wish I didn’t want his friendship. I wish he hadn’t made me feel so beautiful, so normal… I wish I had just kept it a friendship and not crossed the line. I wish a lot of things that won’t matter.

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My father wants me to divorce.

I’ve been reading material on recovering from an affair. I feel like I should be reading material on how to recover from being physically harmed by a spouse that led to an affair… because it seems like the people in these affairs just didn’t do it for the same reasons I did. I feel like no one understands. I’m having trouble finding helpful material for my situation.

My father wants me to divorce. Mr. Smith’s mom wants us to work through this and stay together. I feel like I’m always being torn… as if I don’t have a hard enough time making decisions. I do my best decision making when there is a time-limit, but I know this is something that could just about take forever to get through! Whether we divorce and I have to learn to live life on my own and go through the process of mourning my marriage, or we stick this out and we have to go down the long road to recovery. Both of these paths would teach us great things about ourselves and life. I know I will learn and grow no matter what happens, but which one is the right decision?

Why do so many people that love me not see value in my marriage? His family seems to, but mine doesn’t? I have a close friend who also doesn’t. Then I have a close friend who does. I know it doesn’t matter what other people think, I’m the one who have to live with this. I just wish it was more obvious what the choices we should make are.

I missed the other guy today. I was in my home town meeting my dad for a birthday breakfast. I remember scanning the restaurant because it was near his house and thinking maybe he would pop in. I had no reason to think he would be there this morning, but i just thought, its a possibility – right? I hate that I miss those feelings that were attached to him and the affair, and I’m pissed off that they aren’t coming back at home. I think when I try here, with the Mister, and I don’t feel them, that is when the vulnerability and fear that things will never change come rushing back and I get very scared again.

He can’t trust me, even though I’m not a liar, just an idiot. I don’t trust him, with my heart, my body… my affections. Neither one of us know where to start in getting that back. And frankly, I just want this to move along already. At least if we could take some solid steps and stop feeling like we are just waiting around. It makes me anxious to feel like we don’t have any options to heal. I worry that we really are on our own and we can’t do this on our own. We need help.

This was part of the article on recovering from an affair: “learn to become admiring instead of being critical” This really stood out to me. I’ve never felt appreciated. I’ve always put my best me out there, and I was met with criticism instead of admiration. I’ve only ever wanted to be admired for my beauty as a woman… for my character.

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Life requires intent to be successful

Today I finally felt something – ANGER. Lots of raging anger. I hated everyone I thought of today. I was seeing red. Sure my period is supposed to start tomorrow and I was basically just a raging hormonal mess, but I felt strong feelings… feelings I wouldn’t let come to the surface before. I did what I was afraid to do – I lost it. I lost my cool. I lost my calm. I lost the exterior strength I was so desperately trying to hold up so I wouldn’t go to place I couldn’t come back from. I admitted that people have failed me. I admitted that I was failing me.

After not even being a recognizable human for about an hour today, I feel a little more balanced knowing my husband is coming home with chocolate, cookies, caramel, peanut butter, chips and coffee creamer. Yes I need a vice. I will openly admit I’m weak right now. My meltdown progressed after my selfish little sister proceeded to tell me what trash I am… after just stating last week that she doesn’t feel connected to me anymore because I can’t just talk anymore with having all my own problems now. She also said that I’m not allowed to just do what I want, that is her job. Umm… ok. So you want to take the shitty person award from now on? You can have it. I wasn’t trying to be be a badass, I just happened to allow myself to be too weak and faltered. I’ll get back to being the goody-goody as soon as I can wrap up this hell of a life lesson. I have too much to live for to let myself die here. To become someone I am not.

I don’t know if I want to continue being a married woman, but I feel like my mission to healing started after my end-of-the-world breakdown. When I say I wasn’t recognizably human, I mean it. I was like something out of a demonic movie. I think my head spun around a few times and I channeled the voice of Lucifer himself as I plotted a way to go slash my sister’s tires and burn her belongings. Okay, okay… so rage isn’t exactly healthy… but I snapped out of it. I’ll be getting back to addressing my wrath as I face my demons.

I am disappointed how alone I am. After always wanting to be open about being a swinger, I’m shocked at the reaction of people. I really overestimated how much people respect me and love me. I really thought they would understand… but its just too much to process for my family. So, here I am… alone at the most difficult point in my life thus fare. All my friends are super religious and those I thought were open-minded have their limits too.

I keep trying to imagine the future. I’m the type of person that needs the big picture to make sense of my life – to find purpose. This is why God has always been so important to me… my faith helped me find purpose, helped me learn to love and be loved. If I can get back to a place that is purpose-driven, If Mr. Smith and I could find common goals, common ground… and remember the good times, we might have a chance at a fulfilling future. I’m still hesitant, but I could never let this end without feeling like I had exhausted every avenue of healing and restoration available to me.

I prefer to leave my options open, so its been hard to buckle down and focus on making progress… I didn’t want to make any real decisions. I was just waiting… aimlessly hoping for some divine intervention or something radical that would just fix it all. But, life requires intent to be successful.

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The Consensus is

So far the consensus is that most people think I should leave my marriage. I’m quite surprised by this. I know Mr. Smith is as well.

He was so hurt that I cheated. I don’t think he could see it for what it was in my eyes. I know I betrayed him, but I also know the reason I did it (sounds like I’m justifying it). Maybe I shouldn’t be let off the hook so easy, although I doubt a failed marriage in my history would be getting by unscathed. Somehow I feel like we’re still miscommunicating so much that maybe this all really did happen for a reason and we need to cut our losses, chalk up our lessons… and start our lives in new directions – separately.

Why hasn’t he wooed me back into his arms yet? Why don’t I feel like I’m giving up my love, my life… my happiness? Shouldn’t those thoughts and feelings be accompanying such a life-altering situation?

I was reading a lot of articles about cheating spouses; particularly when the cheater doesn’t feel distraught and lost in a pool of guilt. I haven’t met those depressing feelings yet. I’ve been more on the side of be strong for your kids woman! When I’m alone, which is rare, my feelings are pretty stable and focused on finding answers. I’m unusually focused… the strength I have right now feels rare. But back to the articles I was reading… one reason listed for a cheating spouse not feeling extreme guilt and trying to reconcile was that they did it to get out. They saw their actions as a doorway to end the relationship. Another reason was that there was physical abuse. Since two of the 10 reasons listed were straight from my book of justified fucked up actions to do the shittiest thing ever… I at least understood why I couldn’t even make myself swim in this sea of guilt that I expected to follow.

Was this just an opportunity I took to get out? Was I looking for this loophole?

I’m worried that I’m just gone. I can’t seem to come back yet, and my husband shows strength, compassion, patience and grace one day, then frustration and irritation the next.

I rarely miss the guy I cheated with now… I simply dream of my single life. Yeah, I do. I need to admit that. I imagine it to be amazing… me and my boys, living life making our own rules and just being free.

Maybe the reality of what I’m losing hasn’t hit me yet. If I’m being honest, if it weren’t for knowing I’m killing the Mister… I’d start fresh without a doubt. So, am I being unfair to him dragging this out? I guess I’m just trying to create some type of hope to hold onto, but all I’m finding is strength to move on…

I expected him to bring me back… to love me home….

 

I know I had more to share, but my train of thought has been ran off track.

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The Lie – I Couldn’t Handle Being a Victim

I think I’ve made some headway on they ‘why’ to my affair. I’m struggling to find the words because my emotions are on a hiatus. Somehow though when I was explaining this to my husband, it came flooding in – strongly.

He made me a victim. I don’t like being a victim. Actually, I refused to be one. I decided I’d be the savior instead. I’d be the bad guy. I’d take the weight of our destruction on my shoulders and he’d be a free man. He wouldn’t have to face my scar as my husband again. I’d be the hussy who threw it all away instead.

This may sound a little twisted, so I will do my best not to make excuses for myself or him.

I didn’t feel like a victim as I sat there with my face in my hands feeling the blood drip down my arm. I didn’t feel like a victim until the moments that followed. Initially, I felt like a mistake was made and we’d band together and work through this. I was going to have to face a difficult time, but I wouldn’t be facing it alone. I wasn’t a victim, I was a strong woman who would have a great testimony in her marriage.

The moment I went from strong wife to victim of abusive husband was the moment I lied about my face. I remember feeling like he threw me back into the door when he told me I had to lie about it. I was appalled. How could he? He suggested that I never protect him because I’m so open about my life. It was time that I protected him because he was not a monster. I was torn. To lie or not to lie? Was this true? Was it fair that I would have to answer so many questions with lies, over and over and over until I could cover this scar? He even coached me on how to lie, how to be believable. I’m not a liar, and I never want to be. People saw right through me, and that’s when this mistake turned into abuse… when responsibility was not taken. When I was asked to be the protector in a very vulnerable state.

I lied a few times, but when some of the girls at my school called me out on my lie, I confessed easily. I hated being looked at like a victim. I was not a victim, or at least I didn’t see myself that way. My husband was not an abuser. They would ask if that was true, why not just tell the truth? I knew the answer. If I told the truth and explained the situation it would have sounded a lot better than the lie did when I was found out. But, if I didn’t lie, I’d be exposing weakness – Johnny’s weakness. I found strength from then on in telling the truth. Because I knew I needed to be strong enough to face it… afterall, it would be a scar I would bare alone. he wouldn’t be by my side to protect me when I’d be asked what happened to my eye. he wasn’t even there when I tried to lie to the nurse about how I fell into the door. He didn’t see the look of disappointment and fear for me in her eyes in her gestures. He didn’t have to face this – I did.  He didn’t see the struggle in my eyes… the pain and fear of how I was being viewed. I don’t think he will ever understand how lying about my face took the control away from me and forced me to take a seat on the victim roller coaster.

When my husband asks me what I was thinking when I did it, all I can see is me ripping off my victim label and taking control. Sounds stupid. But I felt so weak, so vulnerable. Becoming an adulterer put me back in the drivers seat. Now I wasn’t at anyone’s mercy. I could be strong, alone. I wouldn’t need him. He would leave me, and I wouldn’t have to make that call. It would be made the moment I crossed the line. I had never pre-planned the cheating. It happened withing a 5 minute time span, and then a 15 minute drive where I shut out all reason and logic and just drove. I knew I didn’t want to be talked out of this. No one would understand why I had to do this.

He needed to be protected, so now I could go down as the abuser. In time, he would understand.

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Christian, Swinger, Abuser, Betrayer…. What?!

I tried to make a list of the reasons I started the affair, which I didn’t realize was going to be an affair. I think I knew I’d need him through my divorce. I suppose I imagined we’d be great friends… he’d be a shoulder to cry on and support through my craziness. I guess I figured we’d be friends with benefits. I knew someone so similar to me would be a much better friend than a lover. My intention was never to pursue a long term relationship with the guy I cheated on my husband with. For some reason though, I went back a few times. Mr Smith’s desire to work through things threw me off. I expected his anger, his rage… and his quick decision that we were over. I never expected his forgiveness.

I was so cold, so numb. Some days I go back to that. It’s much easier that the reality I’ve created. 

Mr. Smith can’t call himself an abuser, and I’m having trouble calling myself a cheater. I can’t find words most days to explain my feelings. I’m harsh, forward and just plain spent. I slept for nearly 12 hours the last two nights. I wake up exhausted. The life that generally bubbles from me is non-existent. Everyone is worried about me. Everyone also knows about us being swingers. That is a nice added bonus to the chaos. People just don’t get it. My family doesn’t even consider my betrayal cheating. WHAT??!!! Since we slept with whoever, whenever… I didn’t really cheat. Bull-shit. I cheated. AND… we didn’t sleep with whoever, whenever. I wish I could explain the beauty in swinging, and i’m ashamed that I had to introduce it to people in this particular light. I don’t blame cheating on swinging. I know it had its part in why sex was easier to cross the line on… and even the emotional relationship I developed with my single guy. But, my actions were my own. No one made me do anything and no lifestyle was the culprit. and… if swinging played a part, its because we didn’t honor the lifestyle. We crossed lines. I have too much respect for those the lifestyle works for to start slinging judgments and blaming something else for my horrible decision making skills. 

So, why did I cheat? I’m trying to be honest with myself… dig deep and expose any selfish thing in me that lead me here. My husband and I have had a difficult marriage. We ran off at a young age against our parents wishes and married after a short year of dating. We had common goals and life felt so beautiful with him by my side. I felt like I helped make him be better, and he helped make me stable. I don’t think I knew how crazy I was back then. People would tell me how passionate I was, but I hadn’t realize not everyone was like me. Passion is my motivation, without it life might as well end. Other people are not driven by spontaneous passions like I am. I’m a free-spirit. I was raised in a religious setting – Pentecostalism. It was the thing that kept me grounded. I did always challenge the system, but respectfully. I never considered myself rebellious because my heart was always simply seeking truth. As it still is.

My husband and my faith have taken a hit the last few years and our common ground seemed to fade away along with it. In the beginning we worked together at church. I was a youth leader and involved in the music ministry singing and even leading in the youth services. I also had an amazing drama team to feed my creative nature and leadership skills. Johnny is a talented and anointed musician. His giftings were very attractive as I saw myself pursuing ministry full-time by is side. The beginning of our marital problems were in the realization that the dream I had was only mine… and he didn’t want anything to do with ministry along side me. And eventually… he didn’t want anything to do with it at all. That was devastating because that was my life. It is what I built every life-decision around, even my marriage. Still, I had hope that this was just the enemy working to separate us and eventually Mr. Smith would see the error of his ways and join me in the efforts to change the world through the ministry of Christ. In the mean time, I learned to work alone. Minister alone. I would get weary often, but still carried on.

I remember finally just letting go of the hope that we would walk through life stride by stride… in unison. I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with my personality type (look up MBTI), but meaning and purpose for an ENFP is the source of joy in life. Without that common need to find our place in the world… we can feel very lonely and unworthy of our lives. I started to feel like I was spinning my wheels. Mr. Smith wasn’t coming around and I started to fade out. The passionate, world-saving Mrs. Smith was losing her purpose. I can never explain how lost I felt giving up that part of my identity – Pentecostal Christianity.  I began to question everything and eventually stopped entertaining the institutional church. I still have a long way to go in that area of my life… but I’ve learned to tackle it alone. If the one person who was supposed to ‘do life’ with me, couldn’t be in unity with me… why even continue? I guess I decided just loving him would have to be enough for me. And that is when I felt like I was dying inside.

I gave up my close family relationships, because going to their houses in lieu of spending time with my husband crushed him. He always felt like my need for other people was rejecting him. And I always felt like his lack of understanding my need for other people was rejecting who I was. Relationships are my life. I remember realizing I had no friends, and his family was all I had. I didn’t quite fit with them, but they seemed to accept me and it was much easier to force him to go to his families than mine. I’m not kidding you. This man is so anti-social, its painful. Like my heart feels like its being ripped from my chest remembering how painful this has been for me. I gave up much of who I am to make sure he was happy, and it was never enough.

I’m still not sure why I cheated… I just know I’m not happy. 

 

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The Wayward Wife

Since I believe in transparency with all of my being… I’m going to just lay it all out here in hopes that my writing will bring clarity. I’m fully aware that our mistakes as a couple will bring judgement as well. However, we believe in the beauty that life’s lessons teach us and are looking forward to growth, healing… and understanding to continue on life’s journey.

A few weeks ago, my husband lost his temper. He had been very stressed out. I’m not entirely sure why, but it seemed linked to the return of his father. Mr. Smith’s dad left a few years ago. He vanished, divorced his wife (my mother-in-law) and stayed pretty quiet and distant from the family in another state. There really was no healing or discussion in the family through this very difficult time. It’s just not the relationship and system his family embraces. This almost killed me and caused a lot of pain and confusion for both of us. I pushed my husband away every time I saw glimpses of his father him out of fear that he’d leave me too. It was a difficult process and no one was ‘talking’ through it – which is a great need of mine. So… I just left it where it was trying not to make everyone uncomfortable. My husband seemed interested in his father’s return but also very hesitant and nervous. We went out for drinks with my father-in-law and Mr. Smith left crying and punching the dashboard in our car. I knew he had some unresolved emotions. It was only a few nights after that. I noticed my husband was stressed because he was very critical. We’ve worked through a lot in counseling. His criticism has always just ruined me. I chalked it up to a rough week at work and the reality of having to face his father long-term.

I was giving him a hair cut… he was complaining the whole time. He wanted it cut, but he was tired. I had already started setting things out and did my best to hurry along and trim him up quickly, but I was getting fed up with all the comments about how the cut was going. Nothing was making him happy. After I finished, I told him that his ungrateful self could clean up his own hair this time since I did all the work and he didn’t appreciate that I spend all day cleaning up hair at school. He refused. I left the hair. 20 minutes later I go off to bed and remind him the hair is still in the bathroom. He proclaims that I had better clean it up! I just carried on and crawled into bed… not 30 seconds later he had stormed in, drug me out of bed and threw me. He meant to throw me through the doorway and into the bathroom, but instead I hit the door knob very hard and then the bottom on the door as well with my chin. There seemed to be blood everywhere and I still hadn’t realized what happened since I only had feeling in the cut on my chin. I finally got the guts to look in the mirror. My fears were confirmed. He put his hands on me, and it was going to result in stitches. My right eyebrow was busted open badly and there was a deep gash in my chin. I start to get a little cold and panic. He won’t take me to the hospital. He’s too embarrassed. He’s also worried because we don’t have insurance and the ER will be an expense we can’t handle. I’m just terrified that my face is not going to heal without stitches and I could end up with a concussion. I decide to drive myself to the hospital. Later my sister met me up there. It was a lonely scarey night. I couldn’t bring myself to file a police report. I will not lie and say this is the very first time he’s ever put his hands on me. I had pushed him around a lot earlier in our marriage… I was always breaking things and throwing things. I never left any marks or anything, but I was the first to cross the physical line. So I partially will always take blame for this. I will never forget the first time he slapped me. I already have issues with my jaw locking and popping. It made it worse. And he also put his hands on my throat as well. I’ve still never been ‘afraid’ of him and he’s always been remorseful. Shit happens.

But this….

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This was much harder for me. This is a scar on my face. This was going to be a lifetime of questions about ‘what happened’. I had 7 stitches in my eyebrow and 2 in my chin. He was very upset with me for being open about the situation. I never threw him under the bus, but I also didn’t feel comfortable lying. He saw that as me not ‘protecting him’. I saw that as him not protecting me. He was so distraught. The day after the incident was his birthday. I was trying so hard to help him feel better. I think, all my efforts to make sure he didn’t beat himself up so much that he was depressed and felt like a monster, left me feeling mistreated and broken myself.

Since we started swinging, I’ve had a Male Female Male (MFM) fantasy… so I’ve always kind of been on the hunt for a suitable guy. Mr. Smith still wasn’t comfortable with any of my choices yet but still allows me to talk to single guys in the lifestyle. I generally talk to a few guys at a time on the side. My husband reads all my texts, chat sessions and FB messages. We’re both very honest and open about any relationships and communication between us and other people. Every once in a while he will get a red flag and ask me to draw some lines. For instance, if I’m texting while its time for dinner and distracted by another or if one of the men seems to be wanting more from me than I can give – attention, relationship… indecent proposals to cheat (yep all those have happened). I know he sees single guys as dangerous. But for some reason, I get a kick out of it… and enjoy his communication with single women. Unfortunately, we were never really on the same page with it. I gave him a hall pass, he never took it. And… I talked to single men online and he tried to accept that and encourage me.

After my stitches, we met with some new people, good friends… and friends we planned to meet (my last blog was about Mr. and Mrs. Sensuous) as a group. I had to lie about my face. It made me so uncomfortable. I did it for him and so we could still go out. We weren’t planning to play since we had some ‘issues’ to work out, but since the other couple was driving so far at the last minute… I decided we should. I didn’t want Johnny to miss out. He had a real connection with her and I didn’t want to play the victim – you know? Those who called me out on my face… those who could read through my lie… they made me feel like an abused woman and I was just trying to be strong. So, I figured… lets just swing anyway, I could handle it! WRONG!

I started to feel like my husband didn’t even care what had happened. I was still hoping for my MFM and talking to a sweet guy I hoped my husband would eventually say yes to. He started to get uneasy… he was mentioning that I needed to be careful. He didn’t really want me to talk to him anymore, not unless it was strictly friends. I made that clear to this guy, but somehow our conversations kept steaming up. We had nearly identical personality types and just seemed to understand one another. I was clearly vulnerable and I didn’t even see it because I was too busy trying to be ‘strong’. I should have paid more attention.

After Mr. Smith said it was time to cut this guy off… I got very upset. I felt like he was taking something away from me that I deserved. After all – if I could be transparent – I had just ‘preformed’ so well by being his sexy committed wife so we could swing the previous weekend and afterward I felt terrible about it and all he cared about was that I wouldn’t do it again with this couple. I was devastated that he wanted me to. So, since I was finding so much comfort in this other man’s conversations… I started hiding them from Mr. Smith. I crossed the line. I justified it by saying that he was being irrational and I was only doing it to make him angry – there really wasn’t any real harm. Gosh was I an idiot.

One night – just 2 weeks after the eye brow incident, I went out with my best friend to a fundraiser. I hadn’t seen her in a while and we’d both been very busy. I just opened up and confessed everything. My eye and our swinging lifestyle. She seemed so attentive but concerned about my marriage – particularly about my staying with my husband. I was shocked how many people looked at me like I was a brain-dead beaten woman sticking up for her abuser for choosing my family.  I think it all just got to me that night. I started to cry and find strength in the idea of maybe doing life on my own. Maybe he wasn’t sorry and I deserved better… and then, the text came from the other guy joking around about giving me his address (which is literally around the corner from my parent’s house). I told him to just stop teasing and give it to me already. I asked my best friend if she would be there for me if I left Mr. Smith. She hugged me and told me how strong I was and that she would most definitely help me through this.

Earlier in the week my husband had said: “I wish you’d just cheat on me so I could leave you.”

Those words were the first to come to mind when I saw this mans’ address come to my phone… and so, I knew if I wanted out – I had at least one way that would do it. I blasted my music, and responded that I was on my way over.

I cheated.

I felt numb. Lifeless… and though there is so much more to tell… I will have to continue the story soon, as it unfolds.

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