Good and Gone

I found his password today. Scrawled on the back of an envelope. A password to a credit card.

We were always separate with our passwords and accounts. I wanted it that way. And looking back, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I never truly trusted him. Maybe I was just being the cold bitch he said I was in the end.

Either way, there it was, in his handwriting, blue ink, faded envelope.

I sat with it for a little while. Looked at the way he wrote his letters. I hated his handwriting.

Mid-thought, my eyes wandered from the faded envelop up to my computer screen. My hands moved to the keyboard and my computer took me to Facebook.

I don’t know what compelled me to try it. What compelled me to even go there. I don’t know what I was thinking. If it worked, did I really want to see what was in his Facebook account? I didn’t think about any potential scenarios. Before my actions even registered with me, his email and the password were entered and I was logged in.

I’m not a trembler. My hands are always steady. I remember in college I always thought it would be easier to be the weak fragile female who had trembling hands that needed to be held. Instead, I was the weirdo that was even thinking about it, hands steady as could be in any situation I was thrust into.

But today, as the mouse grew a mind of its own and methodically because investigating my cheating husband’s Facebook account, my hands began shaking. It started from the inside… I think it started in my heart… this broken hearted anger. Broken anger? I’ve never felt such broken anger as I did today.

They were living such normal (cheater) lives in the wake of what he has done to me and our son. Building a deck on her new house, going to a huge concert across the country, giving her a HUGE birthday party at her favorite place, taking her cute dogs on a trip (best family e-ver!). A two year anniversary celebration (yeah, we were still married when it started). The more broken things felt inside me, the stronger the anger grew. For the first time since he walked out on us, I became concerned that I wouldn’t be able to control it.

Our friends. She was Facebook friends with our friends. The friends that came to our wedding, the friends that I comforted during hard times, and the friends that comforted me during hard times. Friends that we went on trips with and shared memories with. They were liking and commenting on her posts, sharing pictures together. It’s like… I had been cut out of everything and this… thing with boobs had been inserted without anyone noticing.

It was a new part of this whole divorce and discard thing I’m going through. I’ve labeled it 10 million different things with 10 million different reasons as to why it ended the way it did. But today none of it mattered. I felt so discarded by everyone. And I didn’t know how to feel about that.

One of the women I had felt pretty close to in recent years. We were bonded in friendship because our husbands were friends. She was a feminist and lobbied for women’s rights and lobbied against domestic violence. She had shared that her husband was an alcoholic and that she was trying to get him to stop drinking. She had mentioned that he had told her he would stop drinking if she’d stop getting fat. I felt for her and invested in our relationship.

Now, this two-faced hypocritical bitch of a woman was best friends with my man’s mistress, eating out and doing things with a man and the mistress he financially and emotionally abandoned his family for? The man that called his son a fagot? That accidentally fell down the steps with his son at 6 weeks old because he was drunk? That told me to quit talking before he did something to me that he regretted? The man that punched counters, cars, walls next to my head when he got angry? This proclaimed mental health advocate and feminist was…

My brain just stopped mid-panic. If everything in my body had actually worked together at that moment, I would’ve probably succeeded in making a special VIP phone call to the woman. But I didn’t. I sat there, stared at the screen, and trembled.

Seeing that life across Facebook was the worst thing I could’ve seen. I fell back a few steps today. It was selfish. I didn’t think about my son… just myself and how wronged I felt. I was “broken mad” over my own story and my own pain.

While I was inflicting all of the Facebook pain on myself, I decided to dive deep into the archives and opened up an old file of saved text messages. I clicked into a PDF file of my texts with him. I blind-scrolled to the middle and after reading about four texts back and forth, felt like I fell up the rabbit hole back to reality. I spent an hour reading our texts.. I lost all sense of time as I sat there with the unformatted, simple black text staring at me. It is amazing how much I blocked out, how much I accepted, how much I hid, and how much I forgot. Rantings, calling me names, unanswered texts from 7 – 11 p.m. as I was waiting at home for him after I had been with a newborn all day.

As I clicked out of the text files, a folder name caught my eye.

“Cell download”

Wasn’t mine.

I clicked on it. It was a small folder with about 30 files. Most were his work events, etc. But then, at the end, I found pictures of me that he had taken and added captions to… I assume to send it to someone. One was taken after I had fallen asleep nursing my newborn son. I won’t repeat what the caption said, but it was vulgar.

I calmly closed the files, shut down my computer and sat there for a bit. Then the most unexpected thing happened. I started smiling. The first thing that came to mind was “she can have him.” Then, “they can have him.” It was the final straw for me… and I felt utterly and completely over it.

I found my two dogs and laid with them, hugging them and feeling grateful that he had discarded all of us and removed himself for his better lifestyle. We were a little broken, but in his absence, I felt like we had survived something pretty horrible, and were finally starting to be whole.

I don’t know what my purpose is for this story. The only thing I learned from the whole incident is that I didn’t need to see it so close and personal. That it doesn’t matter what or who he is doing now. He is gone, and he is not doing it with me. And for that, I am grateful.

I am still left wondering why all my anger has bubbled up because of stupid friends. Maybe it’s the lack of any loyalty. Maybe it’s realizing how bad it gets for some people that are married to spouses that have narcissistic tendencies or are just plain mean. Maybe it’s that I spent 20 years in a city that doesn’t remember me (or care). The war that can be waged when it all happens, and the hurt that can follow. My heart goes out to everyone that has felt that abandonment and heartbreak.

What magnificently messed up situations we can find ourselves in.

Photo by Madeleine Kohler on Unsplash