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Surviving Suicide – Part 4

May 16, 2010

Part of the reason it took me so long to get started with my story is that I’ve misplaced my daytimers from the year 2000 and 2001. These daytimers basically became my diary. I’d jot down the daily insanities knowing that I’d never remember it all and for some reason, felt compelled to record it at the time. I think it helped getting it down on paper and out of my head. When I say insanity I am truly not exaggerating. I had a few good friends at the time who I could discuss things with and so many of them were shocked by what I was telling and many of them kept telling me “you need to write a book!”, that I guess somehow subconsciously that’s why I was recording everything. It’s also in my nature to keep records so that was at play too. I’m not particularly religious, more spiritual really, but my early childhood was Roman Catholic and some traditions did embed, so I’d say a little prayer to Saint Anthony, the Patron Saint of Lost Articles to help me find my missing daytimers/diaries. Today I searched through my box of daytimers once again looking for the missing ones I wanted, but to no avail again. I know they’re somewhere, I know I didn’t throw them out, but sure can’t figure out the great hiding place I put them in probably saying to myself “I’ll put them here so I won’t forget where I put them” lol! I asked God, my Angels, the Universe and good ol’ Saint Anthony once again to please guide me to them so I can get the story in proper order and we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’m just going to continue to the best of my recall that I can, and choose to let go of needing the daytimer to do so.

I did find some Month-In-View tabbed sections from my personal daytimer for the year 2000 but the little boxes provided on there weren’t very big and I used my desk calendar from work for most of my notes and those are what are missing. I did offer up a thank you for finding those. Geez I’m not doing a very good job of letting go huh? hehehe. The year 2000 was the Millennium, the year of Y2K as you may recall. All I know is it’s a year I will never forget for many reasons.

I did note that it was Feb. 16, 2000 where Rob told me “it’s not working, I’m not happy” and I noted that I agreed and was very calm and that we separated at our shop. I recall thinking that after 23 years of marriage and 4 living together prior to that, that I’d never have foreseen doing this at the shop, but seemed par for the course. I’d always been very close with my in-laws, they came to our shop after we’d separated and it was quite tense and awkward. They were in the showroom where we had a customer waiting area and Rob came out of the shop area and sat with them and had a discussion. I was at my desk behind the service counter, could see them but couldn’t hear them and remember thinking what an absolutely uncomfortable moment it was, but also knew blood was thicker than water and this was their son. They were very concerned about our separation as they’d just given us a sizeable loan to purchase the Firestone franchise back in Sept. ’99. I realized then that my relationship with them would never be the same again, felt pretty sad about that too.

It was about 1 1/2 months later that I was talking to a girlfriend of mine from the yacht club and told her Rob and I had split up. She lived on a boat next to ours with her boyfriend and Rob was friends with them too, but moreso her boyfriend. She told me “Thank God!” when I said we’d separated. I was a little surprised at her enthusiasm but she then proceeded to tell me what Rob in a drunken stupor had shared with her. Rob had gone over to their boat after having way too much to drink and I guess for whatever reason, decided to share what was going on. He admitted to her that he was having an affair with another gal from the yacht club who was also married. He also admitted to my girlfriend that he’d had many affairs, I believe something like 9. I was absolutely shocked, hurt, devastated, betrayed, embarrassed, humiliated and furious all at once. The emotions were literally raging in me, but I kept my voice calm and got the details. I remember feeling the blood drain out of me, I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, my hands were clammy. I think at this moment I was experiencing every emotion possible, all at once simultaneously. My girlfriend told me I was better off without him and that she hadn’t wanted to say anything until I had told her we’d separated. Looking back on that later I found it a little strange she’d not tell me, but I also knew many are uncertain when they find things out like this to deliver the bad news. I thanked her for being honest with me and hung up.

By this time I was more angry than anything, livid would be a good description. I wondered just how many at our yacht club knew, probably most as it was a grapevine unto itself. I felt embarrassed that many knew and had not told me, felt betrayed by them too. We were quite well known at our club as both Rob and I were active on Boards for the club. I thought about things for a few minutes before deciding what to do and then I dialed Rob’s cell number. He answered, seemed in good spirits, I could hear he was up in the bar from the background noise and said I wanted to talk to him, that he should get to a landline where it was quiet. From the time of separation I will admit I was in a pretty big funk. I would go through the motions at work just to get through the day, but I really was very confused and sad. Rob was my first and only love and I always felt he was the man I’d grow old with. When I first met Rob, I told my girlfriends this is the man I’m going to marry. I was only 14 1/2 at the time, and he was my first real boyfriend. I’d had 1 or 2 brief boyfriends through highschool, but they were not serious and mostly I dated them because it was the “in” thing to do, it was cool and you were a somebody if you had a boyfriend. When it got more than that and they wanted a sexual relationship, I’d say abosultely not and that would be that. My girlfriends all told me I was nuts saying I’d marry Rob, but I knew even at the young age. After we separated, there were many calls between Rob and I after work was over. He’d tell me how sad and lonely he was, how much he missed being a family. I listened but didn’t say much, just that I knew how he felt and that we’d get through this somehow. After receiving the news of the affair, that made me even more furious as I really couldn’t understand why all the pretense when in fact, he was already quite involved with someone. Guess he was doing what he thought he should be doing, or what someone in an agreeable separation would do. Never did figure that one out :(.

Rob went back to the boat and called me. I wasted no time and just came out with it. I told him I knew he was having an affair with Karyn, the woman from our club. There was absolute dead silence on the other end. I think very well on my feet, Rob did not. I left that silence until he recovered somewhat and blurted out a denial. I told him I knew, that there was no point denying it and that I didn’t go off half cocked without knowing. Again he denied it. It wasn’t long before he did admit to that and he immediately switched into wanting to know who had told me. I told him that was not important and he just obsessed about knowing who told me. When he realized I wasn’t going to tell him, he then said should I come home so we can discuss this? I told him no, absolutely, positively NO! I told him that I didn’t want to see him and if I did, I think I’d have been hard pressed to not kill him with my bare hands, so no … he should just stay there and stew like I was doing. I hung up the phone and had a really bad night. I think I cried myself to sleep that night, but really cried more than slept. That very night after talking to Rob, I took off my wedding and engagement ring, kissed them both and put them in their box and that was the last time I wore them. Hindsight, it was a decision made that I wouldn’t back down from. I was exhausted the next morning, but had to put on a good show for my son to get him ready for school and got myself into work.

Rob was already there. He looked wiped out too which gave me a wee bit of pleasure, but he was also looking very sheepish and scared of what I’d do. He kept telling me we needed to talk, I said no I’ve heard all I need to for now, we have a business to run and I need to tend to that. I don’t recall what transpired that day or how I got through it, but I did.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2011 9:39 am

    I’m supposed to be working but I am absolutely gripped by your story. It is obviously something that has effected you very deeply – I’m sure the detail in which you are recounting your story must be cathartic as well as upsetting for you. I salute you for sharing this. I will continue reading…

    • June 2, 2011 10:32 am

      Hi RescueMyLife!

      So glad you’re enjoying my lengthy blog :). Had to laugh when you said you’re supposed to be working but instead you’re reading my blog! My late husband’s suicide impacted me in every way imaginable. Much of the loss and grieving is over what will never come to be, realizing your life plan is out the window and you’re on your own to create a new one. It is cathartic for me to blog but I will admit it’s also draining sometimes, so I have to pick a time when I really feel like dealing with it and do a post. In some ways – I’m sick of my story – would like a new one, a fresh start – but I realize that is entirely up to me. I blog about my experience for a number of reasons, one because so many told me I just had to write a book about what happened, so I started this blog as a stepping stone, another was for the cathartic effect for myself and most importantly – I wanted others to know about suicide, how devastating it is for those left behind, what they experience after the loss and hope that it helps shed some light on those who have attempted or are considering it, that it’s not the solution and that they have many who care and want them to remain alive. Overall, I feel each person’s story helps educate others, I feel it’s my purpose/mission to take what’s happened and make some good come from it. Close to 1 million die by suicide each year, that’s 1 every 40 seconds and it’s alarming, yet potentially possible to intervene, get them help and keep them alive.

      I left a reply on your blog, but don’t seem to be able to find it now. I too salute you for sharing your journey and reaching out to let others know what you’re experiencing. I know you’re frustrated, depressed, bored and not enjoying life at all. That is the depression talking and I believe you know this and that’s why you’re reaching out with your blog and by trying medication and talking about it, it allows others to give you the very needed feedback. Mental illness has such stigma attached and makes it difficult for many to take that first step of reaching out for help. Kudos to you for doing that! The meds take quite a while to take effect and when you’re desperate to feel better, time is not always on your side, but there are good meds and combinations out there, there are good doctors and therapists, but it too takes time to find what best works for you. In the meantime, I will continue to read your blog and I’m so glad you commented and subscribed to mine. Nice to meet you!

      Take it one day at a time, be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up, you will conquer this!

      Hugs! Barb

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