Molly is back in my life a bit. If you remember her, she was a HUGE support to me during the Summer (2018) as I reeled in pain over Kelli’s affairs. Heartache is simply the worst emotional trauma that a person can experience. We had an extended conversation today. Rather than try to screenshot the conversation, I have decided to type it out. Partly because I want to experience it again. And partly because I don’t want to create so many screenshots on my phone.
ME: Honestly I am still pretty angry at Kelli. Especially as we approach Christmas. It’s hart to get over it even though I know I can’t stay married with the infidelities.
MOLLY: I think that certain times of year will be hard for a while. Just expect it. I am sorry. You absolutely can create something new to make new memories. It’s got to be especially maddening when your anger doesn’t come with an apology.
ME: She apologizes but it feels hollow. Shallow. Hard to explain but when someone throws away every ounce of trust, family, history, 18 years of marriage, morals, etc for four affairs, apology doesn’t really come close to fixing it.
MOLLY: That’s not hard to understand at all. What I meant was a feeling of remorse. Not words. Not that kind of apology. You can do this. You can do hard things. You can admit to being sad, admit to the struggle of creating holidays when things have changed. You can find gratitude in what you do have. Which is much.
You can start with very small things. Like ….. a tree. And some ornaments. Maybe the kids pick them out. And next year, your routine will be much easier. Small things.
ME: Thank you Molly. Tearing up right now. I went to Allie’s house today to get a few things and she reminded me how she’s “repented” so it’s not her issue anymore. And she called me a jerk. Wish I had never met or married her.
MOLLY: Bob, even that will pass. She just cannot accept that she made a devastating choice.
ME: She probably never will.
MOLLY: She will
ME: You believe that?
MOLLY: 100% I do. I think we have layers of ourselves to which we admit certain things. At her deepest layer, she is already there. In time, it will move through the rest. It always does.
ME: And the wake of destruction she left behind her?
MOLLY: It has the potential to be used to shape you all into some human beings that the world needs very, very much. What you’ve gone through and you coming out the other side with your boys and with honesty…it’s a light for all who will ever cross your path.
ME: I need this right now. Instantly today, I am back to a place of overwhelming sadness.
MOLLY: We don’t really grow into anything of substance without adversity. This was NOT FAIR. This shouldn’t be yours. But it WILL burn less after the holiday and you WILL be stronger than ever. And you will know more than you did before. You were deceived. It happens to all of us and it hurts the most. The MOST! It didn’t happen because YOU weren’t worth of something else. But it happened. You have nowhere else to go but to take the pain and loss and transform it into a motivation to go higher.
And you’re exactly the MAN who will do that.
The winter solstice is Dec. 21st. It’s known as the dark night of the soul. You’re in good company. A lot of people are with you, myself included ever year.
But this year…it doesn’t define me. I just acknowledge that part of me. Of all of us. Our losses. Our wishes and hopes not realized. Life being hard.
The sky is dark. Cold.
But after that day comes…..new. Fresh. Potential. Especially when we don’t run from the dark before the light. We accept it as part of life and we know we don’t walk alone. By a long shot.
Soon, there will be more daylight. And with more light…..more life. More new things. A fresh start.
IF we are paying attention.
That aside, it is the same inside of you. Parts are feeling very dark. But they don’t stay that way. Nothing in nature does.
ME: I need it. I feel completely alone here in Idaho. My entire personality is different when I am in New Jersey with Dave. His family is my family.
I have dark thoughts toward her because she controls where I life. I moved her for her family and outside of the boys I have zero close people here. The one person I had was Allie. Of course, she doesn’t see that. I feel stripped bare. Trying to make my way as a 50-year old man with no history here. No meaningful connections.
MOLLY: Then you’ll have to travel there as much as you can for now.
ME: If she weren’t here, I would move away immediately.
MOLLY: And be so grateful that you have a place Bob. Where that exists at all. That is enormous!!!!!! It’s there. It exists! HUGE!
ME: Fucking far away.
MOLLY: Very soon, you can go there more often. I know it’s far.
ME: I was there in August and November. Happy. Here if feel stuck and alone.
MOLLY: I am a 43-year old woman trying to make my way in a place that has no love for me. No support. No care for my well being. I know how that part feels.
ME: It is lonely
MOLLY: It is lonely.
ME: It’s not that I don’t like being alone. I do. But I feel I had certainty and significance (which I know was false)
I like being alone. But I also wish I had a community of people who helped our family in hard times. Support.
MOLLY: What made you feel certain and significant?
ME: I believed in Allie. She was supposedly my best friend.
MOLLY: I would say most of that was true.
ME: I thought we knew one another and had each other’s back
MOLLY: I think a person can be good but have a defect that is destructive.
ME: So destructive. Like “LIFE ALTERING DESTRUCTIVE”
MOLLY: For sure. No one is untouched by that.
MOLLY: You will trust again. But a real human with a real heart will need time. You need time to assimilate all of this!
Each injury and memory needs to be looked at, acknowledged, and placed somewhere in your being. Somewhere that is intentional. That just takes time. Please. Nurture the parts of you that need that very much. Love yourself enough to care to heal the right way. You can! You will. You Are. Finding a new normal is scary.
So we look to fabricated something as close to our old normal as quickly as we can to stop the pain. It’s just like building a new home. Respect the builder.
Respect his desire to choose quality materials and to have enough time to build a new, beautiful house.
ME: I have missed you. You have a way of saying things that no one else does.
MOLLY: Not a bunch of MDF and 2x4s, Real wood and 2x6s. Waith for the demolition crew. Wait for the land to be cleared. Wait for the architect to finish his drawing. It’s coming. You aren’t ready to have the keys and walk into the new place.
It’s okay!!! It’s good to at least TRY to embrace or … Acknowledge. Whatever stage you’re in.
Build it strong and fantastic for the man inside of you who deserves it. Who can’t actually make the choices. But is counting on YOU to know what he wants and needs. You CAN do it.
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t have to do the same thing. Sometimes it’s worse, sometimes better.
It’s all okay. It is GOING TO BE OKAY. I can see it.
Let go and let God. Give this time to Him. He knows you. He knows you are good. He knows the way.
ME: You are simply amazing. There is so much power in your ability to encourage and reflect.
MOLLY: It’s just that I have tried all the ways “out” and even though I still beat on the wrong doors, I know which one is the right one. Because I have tried them all.
I am always cheering for you. I support. you. Can you find a group of men somewhere?
ME: Thank you. I will look around and see. I switched churches because Sunday is Allie’s day with the kids and our church is super family-friendly. We had just started going there when Allie began her affair with her boss.
And remember when I told you that Allie had sex with Mark in our house?
I am pretty sure, based on my own calculations of their affair calendar and piecing together the stories, that she had sex with him on Sunday morning, the same day that we dedicated our three-year old at church. She literally sent me and the boys to church, had sex with Mark in our house, then came to church and participated in a dedication ceremony in front of the congregation. That was also our 3-year old’s birthday. Same day.
Another reason I had to switch churches.
[part skipped because wasn’t relevant]
MOLLY: you’re a good man. And I am sorry. You will be whole again. That’s what happens to good men.
When a feeling comes, you can be kind to it. Totally accept it. Treat it like a baby. And ask, what is the thought behind it? We just don’t do that. But it’s the most loving thing we can do. It helps. If it is a really strong feeling to kind of detach from it a little. Notice you are separate from it. Stand back a little almost like an observer. But respect and honor each one.
And see the THOUGHT behind it. Is it true? You’re healing. I promise. It won’t overtake you.
You’re just making room for something solid. Just acknowledging you’re hurting. He is right there. Calm. Proud.
I see this tree outside my window. I am staring at it. No leaves. It looks cold. Broken. It looks like it will never be beautiful again.
But it’s roots are deep. Very deep. And it will be beautiful again. And it knows it. Your roots are deep too.