The more I think about this situation, the sicker I get. Can you believe ANYONE could love someone as much as Paul said he loved me and then treat me like a piece of dirt?
So I'm not thinking about it any more. I had planned to come on here today and address one by one the issues the Jolly Green Giant brought out in her nice email to me, but I decided, why the fuck bother? He has "chosen" her; good riddance to bad rubbish, or whatever the saying is. A friend of mine posted a comment yesterday on my last entry, saying "Wipe the dirt off your boots and haul the trash to the curb." I am doing just that. Another friend said "Just picture him sitting in her living room, listening to her shrieking voice with the snot-nosed toddler crying in the background...he's already paying for what he did." Even the brief maternal replacement she represents now, the free pot, and the what's-gotta-be-boring-as-shit sex (after what he and I had) are not gonna make up for the hell he's just entered. I can find solace in that.
So instead, today I am starting over. I have a new phone, with no memories of his voice, his text messages, or the pain he caused me attached to it. I threw away all the birthday cards, Valentine's Day cards, just-because-I-love-you cards, anything he wrote and gave me...I mean "Frenchie"...cause that person doesn't exist anymore. I actually went to the top of Stone Mountain this afternoon and threw the silver locket he gave me for our first Christmas together - three years ago this December - which had a picture of him inside and has been my prized piece of jewelry for these past years, off the mountain. That was hard, but felt really good. I'm working on clearing out all the photos we ever took together as well as the million emails he sent me over the years, too. That might take longer, but I'll get there.
Today I told my therapist "I woke up for the first time in weeks without that knife-in-the-heart feeling. I think Paul has moved 1/4 of an inch further to the back of my brain." It feels good.
Today I also realized the real reason I hesitated getting a divorce, which was a kind of ton of bricks moment. You see, I spent the day with my twelve-year-old son, who's been home from school sick all week. We were riding in the car and suddenly I looked in the rear-view mirror at him and it hit me: "You saved him, Julie." It's true...the reason I didn't get divorced before now is that I KNEW Paul was bad news for my children. Actually accepting that thought into my psyche was incredibly freeing. But I did it. I allowed myself to really look at how he was with them, and it was huge.
Every time Paul was with my children he paid them the most minimum of lip service, then brushed them off. That is, when he wasn't getting drunk and yelling at Nicholas. He showed no interest in them as individuals whatsoever, but made token attempts at being their mentor by talking about what he would do with them one day...the eternal "one day"...build them a treehouse, teach Nick about music, show him "how to be a man" (holy fuck, that's a good one...I know more about how to be a man than Paul does), teach Rosie how to play the harmonica. I sometimes think he honestly believed he was capable of these things, but I always knew once he "had" me, it would all blow away, like the hot air that it was in reality. He wanted in - in my house, in my life, in my bed, in my warmth - but with none of the responsibilities that come with an honest, mature relationship. His way of operating - telling others "You go fix what's wrong, then come back. I might take you back and I might not," or "You hurt me. I was innocent in everything that I did. I won't talk to you about it, I just don't ever want to see you again" would never fly with me and my children. He's sad, truthfully, because he has no idea how to live or how to love another person. Just look at what he did to his daughter. But that's a whole 'nother story.
Okay, so maybe I haven't moved on so much. But I'm realizing that before this summer, I instinctively knew something wasn't right with Paul and his approach to the world. That is why I stayed married, as some kind of protection for my kids, I think. But what happened is that he played me, perfectly, since he knows how to manipulate even the smartest of us. By enforcing our separation over the summer, he made me miss him, want him, regret my actions and see myself as the bad guy and him as the victim. He put me in the position of the guilty party, and I bought it hook, line and sinker. So I think the last few weeks of agony for me have been a result of looking at him through those warped lenses, the ones I wore all summer, rather than through the truthful lenses that I had worn prior to our separation, in which he was bad news for my kids.
Don't get me wrong - I seriously wanted a real, deep, honest relationship between the two of us. I loved that man more than I've ever loved anyone before. But I think way down deep inside I knew that he was nothing but trouble for me and for my family dynamics. Had it just been the two of us, it might have worked, but never with my children involved. Since I have to be a mom AND a lover, it could never work. He doesn't know how to share, and no matter what he says about me and the kids being a "package deal", the kids would have been forced into second place. Paul always has to be number one.
So I guess in the end I'm starting to see the whole situation a little more realistically. Maybe that's the first step of healing.