Laurie Wajda Unplugged
by LAURIE on November 25, 2014
This post was originally written about 5 years ago… But when I came across it it felt like just yesterday. Until I sat and thought about it. It took a lot of hard work and determination to sit where I do right now. I certainly did forgive the little twit. I don’t have to like her, but in the long run she made my marriage stronger. Imagine that. And on some days, not all of them, mind you, I forgive my husband for fostering the whole thing. Do I truly believe he cheated on me? No. But I don’t think he was completely innocent in the matter, either. And so it goes. Sometimes you have to go through the worst to get to the best. And now we’re there. There’s not too much else that could break us, and if this didn’t, nothing will. Read on and have a good laugh.. I did.
Because I want to say I gave you ample warning, this will be a long one. So if you don’t have time to sit and relax, sip a glass of wine–or beverage of your choice–and take a few minutes to read my whiny bullshit, then you should probably close your browser and come back another time. Or never. Up to you. I’m telling you this now so later I can just say – “I told you so.”
This, my friend, is where it actually begins. And away we go…
I have to start by saying, if you knew my father, you would know he would have been the first person to forgive. No matter what anyone did, my dad always had a kind word, a turn the other cheek… a ‘come on, you’re only human.’ He lived his life in the most amazing way I can think of. Pure. Honest. Forgiving… Human. Traits I can only hope I have. Someday.
Because if you know me, you also know… forgiveness? Not so much. For me, it’s more like the other F word. And a lot of it.
It’s been a long, very long, haul over the last 20 months. I almost said 2 years, but who wants to make that shit longer than it really was? I can’t even remember the last time I had a really good laugh. Or a really good outlook. Or a really good day. And that’s more than sad, because there was a time when laughing was my favorite thing to do. Now, all the days have become a muddle of bullshit, or as my friend Mike would say, torture. And to be quite honest, I’m getting tired of taking the fall. Maybe I am more like my dad than I thought. I keep taking the blame, or the fall, to protect the feelings of others who are, or should be at least, inconsequential to my life.
Now, inconsequential, although a good word, a fairly big word, a word that I know how to spell… is not the right word at all. Because there were, and are, consequences. For me, huge ones. But not for them. Oh, the irony. (A good word too, although not appropriate here either, I just like to say it.) Let me explain.
It wasn’t always like this. It started out as a girl losing her dad, her sister, her friend. Yes, I was struggling through grief. An overlapping grief so huge I couldn’t breathe. One that I thought would never end, but started to subside with time. I had family around me, friends, people I loved. Thank God. I (we) lost my best friend’s father (my pseudo dad,) my father, and my sister, all within 10 months. Not an easy pill to swallow. But, it happens. Not to sound callous, but people pass, we mourn, we get over it, we move on.
However, moving on was not, for awhile there, an option. Not for me. Because right in the middle of my grieving period I was thrown another whammy. And wham it did. Wham, bam, thank ya m’am. There I was again, with the other ‘F’ word, past tense. (Fucked, for those who are struggling with that one.)
So, here’s where my story gets interesting. If you’re a man and you haven’t tuned out already, you should probably start to listen now. My husband told me he was getting worried about me. And now thinking about this I have to laugh. Ok I lied… This is where the story really begins…
This year I’ll turn fifty. Really, it was not a big deal to me. I hadn’t given it one thought, as I’d always lived by the adage you’re only as old as you feel. And, I didn’t feel old. I was sharing my life with a man I loved, and who loved me back, just as I was. (Nothing smartass here, I’ll save it for later.)
Sure I’d gained a few pounds since I had my first of four children. But not enough to make me feel bad about myself. I think the FIRST thing that made me feel bad about myself was when my daughter told me that daddy told her at the shore to make sure she puts suntan lotion on her neck and chest because she didn’t want hers to get all wrinkly like mommy’s. Had I known then that he was banging a 22 year old (or maybe 21?) I’d have gotten it. Nevertheless, I started to look at myself in a different way. So, I started to grieve my youth, as well. That was great. Stellar. But wait, there’s more… And yes. It is all about me.
Life went on, and things started looking up. Billy got a job, as he was laid off from IBM in the last wave, and I was back to writing. Before that, I tried for months but could not write a word. I blamed it on the grief but who knows. Blame is easy. I know that now. It is what it is.
The hard part was, the Holidays were coming, and it was the first ones without my dad. Thank God I had a caring husband to help me through it all. Um, yeah. Ok. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas….Christmas concerts and such. My first birthday, the first new year… My friend Sue warned me, the firsts are the worst but you get through it and move forward, because you have to and because you can.
And here’s where the problems set in. When I look back, I think, I was so stupid. There were so many things I could have said or done. But you know what? I’m not that kind of person. Still not. That’s why, until today, I was still taking it up the ass. But no more. Not this (dumb) bitch, as I was so tenderly called just this very morning.
About two weeks before Thanksgiving I went to my husband’s PC to find a book cover I designed for my first book. Lo and behold! As I searched, I found a plethora of porn sites that he was visiting daily all summer instead of looking for a job. And sites to look at MILF’s (sorry but you’ll have to look that one up yourself) and dating sex sites and any other kind of sex site you can imagine–not that anything was left to the imagination anyway. And right then, right there, my life, which was just barely out of the shitter, was being flushed again.
As I said, I would probably lose the men, but here’s where you boys should listen, and listen good. Never do this to your wife. Make her feel special. Like she is your universe. Because she should be. I guess I’m assuming at this point that all men are lying cheating scumbags, which in itself is wrong. But had you asked me 10 minutes before my fingers played that keyboard, I would have had thought the exact opposite. Now, I’m projecting. (I guess that Psych degree did pay off.)
But back to my story, if I didn’t already think, after the wrinkly comment, there was something wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough for the man I spent the last 25 years of my life with, that he had to go watch young skanks stick foreign objects up themselves instead of looking at me, I did at that very moment. Not only did I feel like I wasn’t enough, I felt old for the very first time in my life. And I felt like I was not only not enough, but what was the rest of it for? What’s it all about, Alfie? (Sorry… I couldn’t resist.)
I had never, ever, felt so degraded in all my life. Not for one moment before then did I think he would be the one, of any man I’d ever known, to hurt me the most. Oh, but sit tight. There’s more. Lucky you. Better yet, lucky me. (I told you this would be a long one.)
You may ask… Is this where the forgiveness comes in? Because WTF with the title, then? Ok ok, I’m getting there. Yes, after weeks of not speaking to him, I forgave him. I had to. I wanted to. If you know me on a level that most of you don’t, you’d know that this was not easy for me. It was like pulling my own teeth. But I sat one night after throwing everything within reach at him and listened. And he gave me bullshit stories and I ate them up. Why? Because I wanted to forgive him. And people make mistakes, right? Given, men more than others… And he swore to me I was the only woman for him, and that it was no big deal to him and he wouldn’t do it anymore if it upset me that much. He promised he never looked for any other women–although the pop-up sites told their own story–and that he loved me more than he could ever say and blah blah blah jsdfjsjgagagalkkfblfbaeob[pe-eit34ng – excuse me I puked on my keyboard.
And then it was good. We talked. We laughed. We joked. We had a whole weekend to ourselves and it was wonderful. We were back. We were the same couple we were the day we got married. And it was good. And I fell back in love over and over again. I have to say those few weeks were the highlight of the last few years. And even through all this bullshit I wouldn’t give them up for the world. Did I feel better about myself? No. That shit will never go away. It’s too late. Thank you, darling.
Life was good. But then a few weeks later I got a little wake up call from the whore next door. Story. Longer. Still…
December sucked. No, really. Little things through the month added up to big tears. Christmas shopping, decorating my mother’s house, the tree… Grief is funny. You think you’re fine one minute, and then it sneaks up on you and grabs you by the throat, and it gets all stuck up in there like a little ball. You can’t breathe, but you can’t swallow it, so you just choke on it, sometimes for days, until it finally subsides and slips back away. Until next time. And you don’t expect anyone to understand. You don’t. Except maybe your spouse, or your really good friends who’ve been through it or know you well enough to leave you alone when they see your eyes well. Ok ok– Cut to the chase… I get it. It was the last week before Christmas.
Snow prevented the Christmas party of my husband’s family business to happen until the last week before Christmas. There was a basketball game, I think – CYO – so we also had 2 of our children with us, the third at home and the fourth still away at school. I had already spoken to hubby about one of his employees, because she randomly stopped by one day when she thought it was he in his car in the driveway, but it was me. I thought it odd. But, in the end I blew it off.
However, that night, at his business Christmas party, she walked past me, went up behind him, and poked him gently in the ribs and tilted her head into his, her chin resting on his shoulder. “Boo,” she said. Really? It wasn’t the words. It was the tilt of the head look at him sideways come fuck me in the back room while your wife is standing two feet away eyes that got my attention. And he jumped, obviously bothered by her inappropriateness. Would he later admit that to me? No. I was just crazy. Now I think he was just bothered because she was stupid enough to do it in front of me.
Not an hour later, as the staff assembled for a picture, she grabbed his arm and pulled him down on her. “Come down here with me.” He declined, obviously bothered again. And again, when I mentioned it later, I was crazy. Today? Bat ass crazy as I’m seeing it. I should have pulled that fat ass bitch out of the house by the roots. But I didn’t. I thought he would handle it. But he didn’t. As a matter of fact, it’s August and he still hasn’t. He hasn’t done a god damn thing about it. But wait. There’s more.
Two days later, on my first birthday without my father, I choked back tears all day. It was also my daughter’s Christmas concert, another first without dad, and I was a mess. So who do I see sitting down front? The dumb bitch who obviously wants to screw my husband, or possibly already has, because all he does is defend her ‘til the end. Of course she was there to see her friend’s sister. (Because when I was 21 the first thing I wanted to do was sit through a Middle School Christmas concert.) But that wasn’t the problem. Nope—not even the tip.
After the concert, as it was also my oldest daughter’s first day home from college, we went out for a bite to eat. As a family. I had already had enough grief for the day. For the year. For my lifetime. And who comes and sits a few tables over, giggling it up with her buddies? Ding ding ding! Winner winner chicken dinner! Blondie. And not only do they laugh and try to get the waitress to give them a table next to us, she sends my husband the check. Now, isn’t that hilarious? And what do you think my spineless husband said? Nothing. Nothing at all. Now that’s a normal employee/employer relationship. Don’t you think? Neither did I. So I got pissed. Yeah it’s great when you marry mister nice guy. Except when he’s nice to everyone but you.
Fast forward to spare you the details… In the next few weeks, I found out the only night he worked he worked with her. I told him I would not have it. If he worked with her I was done. It was her or me. And guess who he picked? The blonde C U Next Tuesday with the un-wrinkly neck. And he expected me to believe there was nothing going on. He told me there’s no one else to work that night. He told me it was the only night he could work (mind you, I live with the guy—I know the schedules…) This from the guy who was jerking off to filthy porn sites all summer and then swears there’s nothing going on with someone he refuses to give up. Ok, dear… OK.
Taking it further, he blamed me. I hated everyone. I was crazy. I needed to get over myself. And so it went. Instead of being nasty to the nasty whore next door, he defended her and was nasty to me. Called me names and tried to make me think it was me. But I never left. The weeks went by, and the last night he worked with her I told him if he works with her again I was leaving. And he did anyway. But silly me, not thinking it through, I had, nor have, nowhere to go. Now he wonders why I don’t trust him. Trust? Yeah. Right about now that’s up there with the other F word. Which, conveniently brings me to my point. Oh, there’s more. No, I’m not kidding. But I’ve got to wind it down.
I wanted so to believe him, and to forgive, and to think that maybe I was wrong. I wanted that so, so bad. So I bought a book on forgiveness. I thought it might teach me how. I thought it might show me how to not cry every night and forget the worst and look for the best. And how to look that bitch in the eye and forgive her for tearing apart my family and breaking my marriage into a thousand pieces… and breaking me once again. And as I read through those pages I had to stop.
Because I don’t. I don’t forgive you, you fucking whore. I don’t forgive the fact that, for whatever reason, you chose the time where I was at the worst point in my life, the most vulnerable and the saddest I have ever been, hands down, to carry out your sorry rendition of flirting with my husband not two feet from where I stood. That I had to put up with your bullshit while grieving my family and ultimately lose what meant more to me than anything on this earth because I could think of nothing else but his betrayal. I hate you – you fat fucking bitch (look at that, another F word.) And you can bet your enormous, sorry ass that even though I’m nice to your face, you better watch over your shoulder when you’re walking out of the deli in the dark. Do you really think I deserved that, skank? I had never been anything but respectful to you, and you repay that by trying to fuck my husband. Is THAT why you couldn’t look my in the eye? Nice. Very nice. And although you owe me an apology I’ll never get, because you, nor my husband think of anyone but yourselves, I’ll get over it. I’ll get over both of you, because you’re not worth it. And I hope, someday, when you are all settled in and have a family of your own, some dirty whore just like you comes and does to you what you did to me. To us. Because you not only hurt me, you hurt the children you purport to be your friends, and broke up a perfectly happy family. Congratulations.
And there you have it.
So, I guess that forgiveness book was a waste of $15.95? No, not really. Because it also taught me something about myself. I’m stronger than I ever thought I was. And I don’t have to like everybody. And I don’t have to forgive. (Just to be clear, that from me, not the book.) The only person I have to forgive, is myself. And I did.
I forgave myself for all the feelings of guilt I had over my father’s death; for signing his DNR and then looking over to see a tear streaming down his cheek. I forgave myself for letting him die, because after months of feeling guilty for not doing enough, I realized there was nothing else I could have done. I forgave myself for never spending enough time, for telling him to stop whistling, for all the times I left when I should have stayed longer. I forgave myself for never going to see Mr. D in the hospital because I never had any thought whatsoever in my head that he was going to die. I forgave myself for letting my own sister struggle through breast cancer on her own, being with her only at the end to hear her last breath and assuage my own guilt. I forgave myself for being a lousy daughter, and a lousy sister, and a lousy friend. And I forgave myself for being human. And then I cried. Thanks, daddy.
But the buck stopped there. Because even though forgiving myself was not easy, forgiving my husband will be harder still. That is, if it ever happens. There’s too much hurt there now to even give a damn, in all honesty. All I asked for was common courtesy… Any other husband would have fired the bitch. Not mine. Mine defended her. What does that tell me?
So no, Bill, I don’t forgive you for making me feel like a lesser person, like I’m not enough for you or good enough, period. No, I don’t forgive you for not sticking up for me, ever. No, I don’t forgive you for trampling on my feelings because it’s too inconvenient for you not to. No, I don’t forgive you for acting like I’m some kind of inconvenience for you. And no. I don’t forgive you for sticking up for that whore instead of me when she was obviously inappropriate and wrong. It could have stopped there, that night. None of this nonsense would have or should have ever happened. If you had a spine. Or a mouth. Or both.
Will I ever forgive you, want you back, give a rat’s ass what you do or who you work with again? I don’t know. Will I ever believe another word that comes from your mouth? Not sure. But what I do know is that it’s hard. Because wanting to forgive someone and really doing it is another story.
Do I blame fat ass Sydvicious (oh—that’s my husband’s nickname for his deli friend—after one of the Sex Pistols – perfectly normal, right?) for tanking my marriage? Not in full. She was the catalyst that showed me what disregard my husband has for my feelings. She was the one who started the bullshit and put doubt in my head all over again. She was the one who proved my point by not being able to look me in the eye. But ultimately the blame lies on the man. If he had opened his mouth: if he had said “What is wrong with you—I love my wife—get off me”, “Do you think you could give us a break here? We’re out as a family and it’s a very hard time for us”, “Cut your bullshit I’m in love with my wife”, “Of course I won’t work with her if we would break up over it” … or any other rendition, take your pick. If he just opened his mouth and said anything, anything at all. But he didn’t. And she’s still showing up. And he still defends her. And I’m still pissed. And thanks to them both, had to put up with a bunch of childish nonsense while I was mourning. Thanks. You guys are great.
So, to wrap it all up… yes. Forgiveness, or forgive-(mess) in the words of my dear friend Mike Mullaly, is the other F word. But while one is so easy to say – like fuck you both I hope you both rot in hell… The other? Not so much. Not so easy to say at all.
Am I my daddy’s girl? Yes. Will I ever learn to be the person he was? Doubtful. And right about now, I’m not so sure I’m even willing to give it a try.
Over and out,
P.S. Oh, and ‘Sydvicious’ — Have a good life. C U Next Tuesday…