What was wrong with the picture?


The first thing ~wrong~ - is how happy I looked, and what a nice-looking couple we made. It was July 6th, and my grand 50th birthday. And we were taking that picture in one of those little picture-booths at a "5 & 10" store across from Dominion Psychiatric Hospital where I was being admitted for my third hospitalization (in as many months) for suicidal compulsion which was beyond my control. It was beyond anyones' control at that point. Neither man nor medicine seemed capable of stopping me.....

Infidelity is in many ways, worse than death.....
In death, an end comes. Infidelity is not at all an end for the victim. It is, instead, the beginning of a seemingly `endless' torture. I never have understood, and I never will, why people have to heap the additional pain upon the partner that they defraud.... the humiliation of being such a fool when everyone knows and some try to tell you and it is too unthinkable, too painful, too unacceptable for you to entertain the idea of... and so you turn away from the kind and loving friends who are trying to help and protect you. You even turn some of the pain on them in small ways.... You avoid them... You resent their pitying looks..... How selfish it is that ~cheaters ~ hold on to the partner while they do as they please! Why not come right out and say, "I have come to want someone else" or - "I don't want you anymore." and let it all end with a fair and legal separation preliminary to divorce? I comprehend the insecurity, and that they are fearing that they will be giving up something real for an illusion which will dissolve soon enough and they will be left with nothing... But - that IS the price of the choice to dally and experiment - isn't it now? The fair choice/price, that is..... If one wants a thing enough, they should be willing to pay whatever that fair price is.
For some - the price may not be so fair. For some partners are more interested in the security their mate provides than in the fidelity vows. In that case - there will be a great war launched and catastrophic consequences for all concerned. The fury unleashed, the bitterness generated and nursed..... Vengeance to be wrought.... Penalties exacted....
It was not that way with me. I talked with him about this before we ever married. I said that it was not my nature to be jealous, possessive or vindictive. I asked that if the time temptation should arrive and he wish to indulge himself, he would tell me. I promised the same to him. I vowed that I would not make any attempt to hold on to him in such a case. And I never would have. It is not in me. Why would I want to give my life, even one hour of it, to someone who didn't want it? It is too precious and what is the point? What gain for anyone? Where is honor? Where is decency. Where is respect of love? How can there be respect for oneself, even?

***Why am I sharing this? Because there is so much "Mystery" surrounding what is commonly referred to as a "Breakdown". There is so much secrecy and shame surrounding the things I am going to share here..... I think that if it were not that way, and people talked about it more freely, the support and help would be more available when and where it is obviously needed.... and possibly, relationships and even lives could be saved that now become pitiful sacrifices to the god of pride. What is wrong will not go away simply because it is hidden and repressed from exposure. In fact, evil thrives in the dark night of secrecy. What is done is done. The only shame to carry around are those wrong choices which we continue to make and wrong actions by which we bring suffering and pain to others whose crime is to love unwisely, those who choose not to cherish or honor that love.

At first, it was all his fault, of course......(victims believe this until they recognize that they are jointly at fault and break the bonds that imprison them in the circumstances. It's the age-old adage, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me" and you could substitute Hurt - for the word `Fool'. It was weeks before I found my way to THAT mountain and ascended to the next stage of recovery!)

Excerpts from April-journal .... Up most of the night last night! Weird coldness under my right rib cage and that weird numbness in extremities and over sensitized nerve endings! Too much time to think when I can't sleep! Rogers' choice to continue along indefinitely...not seeking help or resolutions... means he's throwing MY life away too! Not just his own! I'm angry enough now, with all that's wasted in our years, to say `Enough is enough!' I want to say, and stick to, "No more, Roger! I will not hope, I will remain in reality...which is this - You have neglected and abandoned me more than you have loved and stayed with me!" Also, "You torment me by telling me what all you need and want me to `help' you with....involving me in your `new ideas' and `trials' and then turning around and telling me it's now my `place' to be doing it!!!!" "You procrastinate and keep me hanging on like everything else in your life that you are finished with but never discard or let go!" "You don't want to live with or without me either one! You have to choose! Either stay the way you are or do whatever it takes to regain control (or gain control) over your life, your appetites and your health and stamina for life and be my husband! You can't have it both ways Roger! You say there's something wrong! You say you're afraid of being alone! You won't get out on your own and try it. You won't do much of anything except exist. If that's all you want...then why are you stringing me along waiting years for a husband you never intend to be? "But I want to live, and love with you! If not you, then someone! You've got to make a decision and stick with it! You keep changing and I don't know what you want!"

I need to face the here and now of the way things are, because they have BEEN this way for 17 years and may possibly be that way forever if not dealt with. He can't deal with what he doesn't see! So that leaves me with no recourse but to begin to step forward into a LIFE....get out from `backstage' and live! I can't keep looking over my shoulder to see if he's coming along!

I don't know what's the matter with me... it seemed like such a big impossible thing for me to deal with.... but I don't understand, why? I was fighting not to let my voice reveal the tears which began (why the tears?) it was like my mind just couldn't fit anything about the subject <taxes> IN up there in my brain! It kind of scares me how overwhelmed I'm getting these days. I think it's the loneliness and insecurity and the stress and even the workload and responsibilities.... it's just too much! I think I just can't handle any more responsibility! I keep saying that - but nobody is listening - not even ME <to myself>!

To make matters worse...he came here too. He was acting so odd(!)..... adding even more stress to the impossible amount which I was so desperately trying to hold up under. He wanted to `show me what to do' - BUT I CAN'T DO ANY MORE..... - I just CANNOT! I could see that he didn't believe what I was trying to say. He acts like I'm crazy... I think he's right. It was like one of those `Twilight Zone' experiences where I feel I've been sucked into the TV and Rod Serling is announcing the show while that `music' introduction begins. I keep telling them around me that I'm on `overload'...but they keep pressing me to fill their responsibility needs and I feel sometimes that no one listens or believes that I'm a finite human! Why won't/don't they hear me???? It began to seem like I was fading away and nothing made any sense. My whole life is turned inside out. I feel on the edge of a real Breakdown! <whatever that means or will mean.....>

I'm feeling drained and listless and stay near to tears. I would be okay if Roger would come and hold me and comfort me or lend me some strength for all the responsibility that has fallen to me from his share of the household and our life! Or.... if he would just leave me alone altogether and let me adjust to his absence permanently. Instead - he is always pushing and pulling me back and forth and I don't feel I have any power to do anything about any of it. I love him. It seems that is a sick thing to continue to do in light of all the circumstances.....

Called Roger this evening to ask him if he wants to get the rest of his stuff out of the closet in the bedroom. He talks about getting his `act together' - loving and missing me - wanting to come home - and then the last few times he's come, he gets a few more things out of the closet as though he's still moving out. I hate the confusion he keeps going! If he's still moving out - then he should DO it and he should STOP talking as though he's coming home, since obviously, he isn't really working at doing that. In fact, he says he's lazy and thinks he likes not having to answer to anyone or do anything more than come home to that room and `flop down and do nothing if I want to.' So, why is he hanging on to me? Why doesn't he make some decision? If this relationship isn't what he wants, he needs to take up the responsibility of ending it fairly. He's already leaving everything but the house-payment and my medical bills (some of them) up to me to fend for myself. (He's stopped paying the utilities now too)

The thing is, I can't adjust to anything, one way or the other, because he comes and says one time that he wants to come home, doesn't like who or what he is, knows he needs help and needs to change but doesn't know how - and all that sort of thing - and then at another time, he acts perfectly content with the status-quo. I need direction and stability. I can make it if he just makes up HIS mind! We both know that I want us to make it, to get help or whatever it will take, and be together for the rest of our lives. We've invested so many years together! I don't even know if I can deal with the idea of a divorce. It feels wrong when I pray about it. But when I read the right books and articles, it seems so right. Especially if he IS having an affair. Oh, I stay so confused and torn one way and another.
Sometimes I wonder, `What is it that the relationship holds for me? Has there been enough good in it to keep it?' But the answers are, #1) I took those vows `for better or worse' and regardless of what he does... it was my vow!' and #2) I see a spiritual man and another man (not really a man at all, but more a teenager who is selfish and mean.) I see a potential that I believe will one day be actuated and reached. So tonight he started in on me - "Do you want to end our relationship?" I didn't even want to answer that question, I've been trying to discern that for myself for a year now and haven't yet - so how could I answer him? Besides - it's a trick question/situation.... if I say `yes' - then he will immediately set about changing my mind/decision.... and if I say `no', he is content to officially be `off finding himself' (which he has spent a LOT of time doing throughout this entire marriage) while using the separation as justification for abandonment of his responsibility for his family. He says he's `lazy' - and I guess that covers it all pretty well... He wants to validate his irresponsible and procrastinating lifestyle by using me - pushing me into the position of not being able to live with him.. and his behaviors. Since it's entirely my fault, I think he believes that `anything goes' for him to do. It also , in his mind, warrants my having to struggle to survive on my own, depending on others to provide for and meet his responsibility for me!!!

I can't write very well with this pain...but I am trying to deal with the conversation by setting it all down like this to look at it now and later and maybe find out what the truth or answer in me is! I'm so desperate for this to change! Sometimes I don't think that I can get through another night of the loneliness and need! In fact, I believe that I already know the answer - but I just don't want to get on that roller-coaster ride that will begin as soon as he identifies one or the other choice in me. It's a `no win situation' for me. A trap that he's wanting to snap shut on me as he has so many times in the past! I also feel so vulnerable about my physical health. It just seems that I'm falling apart. If Dr. Taylor is right, then I must do something about my life or `die'! He says that the situation is as deadly as cancer!

I keep asking God to show me what to do, but I know that He isn't going to make the decision FOR me. He certainly isn't going to change Roger when Roger doesn't want to do so and won't let Him! So what can I expect of Him? I just try to find the comfort and instruction in His Word. Even that is growing remote for me at times now. I think all of life is growing pretty remote for me now! In fact, I hate it!

With the mail came a late notice for the mortgage. I was stunned! Is he going to allow the house to be `lost' too? Just how insecure are the circumstances I'm about to find myself thrust into? I was so undone that I began to tremble and cry. Waiting for the nausea to pass, I called the bank. They said the payment had arrived two days ago! I was almost too weak to stand. Last week there had been a double electric bill in the mail when he told me I have to start paying it! I felt overwhelmed with insecurity! I realize that I don't really know much about the state of things in my own home! I could be out on the street so easily and just as mercilessly as anything else he's done. Why not that? I guess, in one way, it would be merciful because I would leave and return to Maryland then! The decision would be made for me! So - let it happen, I thought. Or, wanted to think. But I was having a weird day after that! I kept getting sleepy-like.

I don't know if a person can `doze off' while walking around and doing things, but I seemed to be doing that today. Time slipped away and I didn't know where it went. I'd find myself in an activity I didn't remember starting - and not remembering ending the one before it! It almost scared me. Perhaps it's a new kind of flu bug that effects your brain with encephalitis or something? I began to feel like I was having Panic attacks and with the odd sleepiness & fogginess, I felt like either the world or I was becoming unreal. Everything seemed to be moving in slow motion and there was a peculiar numbness about me....like I was turning to cotton or something insubstantial like that. I even went to bed and lay down 3 or 4 times today and fell asleep immediately with Buffy on one side of me and Brandi on the other side. They were so sweet and good while I tried to negotiate/navigate my way through what seems like a fog coming and going in and around me. Am I sick? Yes, yes, I believe I really am and it's getting serious now!

Roger came after work and when I asked him about last night he said he'd been upset over us and had been out riding around for hours - had even come past the house a few times but couldn't bring himself to come in! He blasted me about the house payment, about my `feelings' about the house payment "You KNOW I wouldn't let anything happen to the house!" But I don't know that. I don't know anything. He seemed to be very put out with me, super-irritated and all I could feel or think was a blurry confusion and unnamed fear. Even as he went on talking I found my own thoughts superimposed over his - `I have to sell the store, find a job and get medical insurance.... I don't think I've ever felt more insecure in my life! I remember him asking me what was wrong with me and I realized that the weird feelings I was having must be showing. I don't know why or how. But I just said I hadn't been feeling good today.

The truth is, I haven't felt good for a long, long time now. I'm terrified of everything in general, no one particular thing specifically. I just don't seem to be able to think or feel `right'- whatever that is. Like a drowning person, I kept repeating to myself `One day at a time, just one day at a time. Don't think about anything else. I'm still doing it now. Roger seemed angry with me for whatever he thought I'm feeling or thinking. I couldn't respond very well, and I think he thinks it was for some reason. I'm sure this all is. But I don't know what it is exactly. My whole system seems to be speaking urgently in languages I don't understand.

Roger is objecting loudly to the `cleaning up' of the yard we were doing <at last> - even though he admits that it's looking really good around here. I wondered what he was here for today, really, I honestly don't know! He seemed to get angrier by the hour, yet he wouldn't go home. I invited him to do that and he snapped at me, "This is my home!" I have no problem with that idea - I feel that way myself. But that made it all the more frustrating that he was willing to just stand around observing the whole family cleaning up after him! Criticizing and complaining while the rest of us were all gathering up years of his old trash and accumulation of a dozen vehicle batteries - odd parts - empty containers, rags and trash. Three separate times today and evening, he announced that he was going to leave his `keys'....once even began to take them off his key ring, then stopped as though unable to reconcile himself to either decision - keep or forfeit them as symbol of how offended he is that I'm doing things without his permission. Though I seem brave about it, actually I'm really afraid of his anger, but I'm doing it anyway! I just hate living this way!

The cook-out was nice in spite of all circumstances contributing the opposite influence. Everyone ate heartily! Even Roger himself! We even sent a plate home for Bobby too. Roger kept saying he was leaving. Then he'd stay! He even left in his car twice but then returned. His face was so tormented and contorted that I could barely look upon it! It was a man at war with himself so powerfully that it seemed he would self destruct! He was actually talking to himself on several occasions when I walked up to him without his knowing. I didn't understand one word, but it was as though two men were heatedly arguing with each other! He often, throughout day and evening, turned that animosity or whatever it was between himself and himself - ON ME! He was supposed to do that tax filing but I found this morning (It's the next day that I'm writing this) that he never even did that - and Friday is the deadline!

The evening, with the others gone and Brandi in bed, exhausted from her day of helping and playing so hard with her cousins and all the excitement of company.... was even worse! I tried to get him to share what was going on, but he didn't want to talk, didn't want to leave, didn't want to stay, wasn't interested in playing cards  or any other game, (is he ever - really?) or a movie or anything I could think of to suggest or offer. He said, "I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel screwy. I almost feel drunk!" and such things in a ranting, raving, pacing (not unfamiliar) kind of way. My nervous system became so `wired' that I thought I too would soon begin to act like that myself if he didn't stop! He said he had to go. I thought he DID leave, without saying goodbye - but when I went downstairs, there he was sitting in the dark in his recliner glaring like a gargoyle at nothing at all! I apologized for turning on the light, explaining that I hadn't realized he was still here. He so often just up and leaves without a word, that I'm accustomed to the behavior. This time he'd said he was going to leave. I was going into the bathroom to take my shower at the time and had no idea he didn't!

"Do you want me to leave the light on or off?"   I asked, as I turned to come back upstairs.   He jumped up out of the chair, "I've got to go." he said, following me. He took me in his arms and kissed me in the dining-room, a hard, odd kiss, almost like he hated me for wanting to kiss me or want me or whatever he was doing... I didn't like the kiss, but I sure wanted it to change into one of our usual ones and then lead to more! Then he abruptly let go of me and left! I stood there and cried. It had been such a strange day of that pushing-pulling, scary roller coaster kind of day with him that I felt as strange as he was acting!

I hated, but was also relieved at, his departure. He started the car. I ran to the bedroom and threw myself across the bed sobbing. It always feels like he's leaving me for the first and last time every time he does it! We've spent so much of our life together in `partings' of all kinds.... angry, sad, mean, gentle, reluctant, eager...you name it....we've done it that way - lots of times! I don't know if he left or not.... but he returned to the house, came toward the bedroom and my heart leaped at the sound - "He's coming back" my soul spoke happily.....(it always hopes his `coming backs' will be forever). 

He came inside the room and said nothing for a few minutes. There was no light on. Finally, he asked, "Are you crying?" ... I hesitated in replying, not knowing what the answer would do or bring about - would he attack me with the usual accusations ? ~ "You're just doing this to make me feel bad." or "You know I hate it when you cry." or the `why?' questions which seem so ridiculous since we both know what's hurting! I decided to avoid the answer, knowing that we both already knew I was crying (and the why? of it too) even as he left, "What is it you want Roger?" I asked. "May I turn on the light?" he asked. "Sure" I sat up and reached for a hanky to blow my nose and he said, 

"I need to get a few things", indicating his closet there in the corner. So this was why he had come back? I felt that resentment and anger rise too suddenly to bite back a comment "Why do you keep taking a `few things'? There's nothing much left in there except junk!" He removed his summer shirts that hung there - "The weather's changing and I don't have many shirts to wear." he said. 

"Well, why don't you take everything else out of there too? It's been a year now, and now you're taking the last of what clothes you want. Why leave that stuff you haven't worn in years and probably never will wear again?" He snapped "I'll take what I want, when I want!" as he shut the door and began to make his way back out of the room. It was like something snapped inside of me! He has left me for years with that closet as his only presence left of him in our bedroom. Why leave it with stuff he didn't want? It seemed so symbolic of ME in his/our life. "If you take those shirts - take everything else out of there too!"

"Why are you saying that now?" he wanted to know. "Why do you want me to clean out the closet at this time of night? "Because I can't take all this it anymore, " I said, "if you're going, go and take all of it with you - Don't leave your trash and unwanted stuff here with the wife you've abandoned over and over and obviously don't want either!"

"IT ISN'T TRASH' he snarled, "It's just trash to you because it isn't YOURS! You want the closet for yourself." My heart was breaking, "No, Roger! It isn't the CLOSET I want, it's my husband! You keep leaving me! Piece by piece, you come and go and I have to wait and wait to see which and when you're going to do it! I don't even understand the why!" ....... "Well, then, why are you throwing me out?" "What?" I asked, incredulous. "You want me to take everything." he replied... "I said, stay or go, Roger, ....either one, only you can make that decision. But I don't want you doing it a little piece at a time like this. I can't stand the back and forth moving!" Glaring at me intently, he said, "This relationship isn't going anywhere. We both know it!"

I always get sick when he starts this. He was baiting me and I knew it. When I get the courage to be in agreement with such a statement from him, he turns right around in a few hours or days and talks me back around in the other direction! I'm dizzy from it! "If that's how you feel -" I began to say. He interrupted me, lashing right out in the midst of my words, "IT ISN'T ME! IT'S YOU! IT'S HOW YOU FEEL!" he was shouting at me as though the loudness would make it sound true... "Roger, I have never wanted you to leave. I get to where I can't stand the pain and treatment you give me and then we separate-...." once again he interrupted me...... "OR YOU CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE ME LOCKED UP!" he angrily, accusingly interjected, referring to the night I'd gotten a temporary restraining order from the magistrate - when he'd spoken of killing himself and left and I didn't know where he was. 

First, he'd threatened me and went to the cupboard in the kitchen to take down a shotgun (or whatever kind of gun that was) which he threw down on the floor in the kitchen when he evidently changed his mind about what he'd wanted/intended to do to me after threatening my life (because I was going to leave him) in the bedroom moments before. (Later, Roger told me that he was standing on a chair - the cupboard is up at the ceiling, and our little Brandi , he said, toddled into the kitchen and looked up at him and he looked down at her and it wrenched his heart/mind into awareness of what he was doing... how out of control he'd gone, and it was then that he threw down the gun as he did....) Funny, it was always okay for him to leave me - but any mention of my leaving him or moving out of our home made him violently angry.

The all-too-familiar physical manifestations of the stress of what was happening between us were beginning, the severe cramping, the panic, the inability to breathe...the diarrhea - I got up from the bed to go to the bathroom, "Do whatever you want Roger, you always do that. Take what you want. Leave what you want. It's ME, actually, that I really object to your leaving behind the most..." and I closed the bathroom door behind me. When I came out, I thought he was gone, but he'd only taken his shirts to the car. I was trembling and weak. When he came back again, FEAR ran hotly through me...what now? Sometimes I still remember that day.... the day I first learned to fear his temper and capacity for violence.... the day of the only physical beating he ever inflicted upon me. But his hands were empty and it didn't seem that he was threatening me...... I pulled back the covers and got into the bed. I felt such freezing cold inside and outside of me. 

He went to the closet and opened the door. He stood there looking in. Took out a suit and turned to me and said, "Do you know anyone to give these things to? You're right, I probably never will wear this stuff again. You can get rid of it if you want to. Throw it away or give it to the clothes-closet....

Something like rage came up in me.....[`Me?' I shouted within myself.....`Now he wants me to carry away his discards and remains for him too?]   To Roger I then spoke quietly, no sign of the inner rage that had come, "Why don't you take the stuff with you and do whatever YOU want or decide to do with it? It's yours!"....... 

"Oh, SURE" he growled....."It has to be done RIGHT NOW! It's got to be done when Nina says to do it!" he said, belligerent and challengingly, which was a bit absurd since he had been gone now for a year already. "You wouldn't care if it took me all night or I didn't get any sleep at all tonight" The fury or rage or whatever the terrible thing or feelings (so unfamiliar to me!) were in me began to `boil' and I'm not sure exactly what I said or did. 

There is a very hazy picture of myself throwing or taking things out of the closet. I remember saying or shouting, I don't know which, words like.... "I don't want your trash in my life anymore. I want a life! I'm not going to take this anymore. I'm not going to let you be mean to me like this anymore!" I clearly remember a moment when he came into the room with the outside trashcan and began to put the things all into it together and I know that we were both saying stuff - but as weird as it seems to me this morning, I can't recall anything more specific. I have no idea of the time we spent or anything.

The next thing I remember, was him standing over me in the closet doorway and I was inside the `now empty space', sitting on the floor in the corner, face wet with tears, and he was telling me to get up and get out of there. I felt confused about being in there. I didn't remember going in there. I felt afraid of the anger and impatience in his voice. It was like when you first wake up from a dream and aren't sure whether it was a dream, or, reality. I felt trapped there in the corner of the closet with him filling the doorway and no way past him..... Then he was pulling me, out of the closet and I didn't want to go out. I felt safe or less pain or something in there. - It was as though I had found an escape from the world and all of its' harsh realities . I think I had shut the door and crouched into a corner...maybe crying - for some unknown time?

It felt as though it had been more than a few minutes, but I had no sense of time, so I'm not sure. I felt like a really little girl! Funny, I can remember that feeling clearly... it almost felt as though I'd `visited' a familiar place where I'd been before...but it was an odd feeling - sort of unreal, or, a twilight-zone. As the scene took place, I felt like a removed observer of him and of myself and of what was taking place. It was like seeing someone else - but it was me! I was seeing me as though I was two different people. I remember feeling numb (paradoxical statement! Oxymoron?) and `slow' - like everything was in slow motion (that happens to me a lot lately). I remember him saying he wanted to make love to me... but he didn't say it in a way I ever heard before. I CLEARLY remember him looking at me in that strange way he does on those rare occasions when I finally do `lose it' and get angry. It's like he too, is seeing me as another woman - one he finds stimulating and arousing.

He announced that it was too late to leave and he was too tired, and that he was going to spend the night and asked, did I want him to sleep in bed or on the couch. I could barely speak or respond. I felt entirely passive, lifeless perhaps. Slowly I heard myself say "I don't care" as I curled up under the covers which he was tenderly pulling over me. It was like a father tucking in his child. He reached down and ever so gently brushed my hair back and then bent down and kissed my swollen eyes and he said, "I'm sorry Nina. I know that I put you through hell." and he was crying as he spoke.

From somewhere inside of me, an alert, responsive me asked indignantly, why then, he continues to do it, but my lips were too tired to speak her words out loud and I remained silent. I tried to focus on him because it felt like I or my vision was blurring or getting foggy and my sight and hearing grew dim... 

He still stood a moment, looking down at me, then he went around the bed, took off all his clothes and got into the bed with me. I remember hearing coins clink as they rolled together and fell from the covers when he got in. I vaguely noted that it was the money that had fallen onto the bed from a cigar box of coins from his closet. That brings a vision of lots of pennies everywhere. At first he lay on his back on his(?) side of the bed and my senses got a little sharper -like a small bit of fear in me, of not knowing what might happen next. The silence was so loud it felt like a pressure against my eardrums. After a few minutes, he rolled over and slipped one arm under and one arm over me and held me in that way that I always CRAVE (and I think I will crave it FOREVER! The little girl in me, who had no father to hold and cuddle her?). He brushed his lips against my earlobe and neck, and whispered there so softly, "Oh, Nina, I love you. I hate what I 'm doing... what I always do to you. And I love you."

  Another woman in me, one from our ~yesterday days~ spread her feelings through the numbness with a liquid warmth and I turned to kiss him. Without a word we began to make love there in a silence that made it seem magical. I think we both were afraid that words could break the spell that was making it possible to make love. It felt like we really were one body. It was a physical communication as well as a `communion' of each other. A thing that I think only husband and wife, within that mystery of oneness, ever really know or share... In the midst of the near end, and right afterward, we both cried. I don't think either of us had a particular reason, unless it was the sadness of the separations and pain that we both seem victim to at the merciless behavior of a whole other `Roger'. But the strange thing about it was the `mutualness' of timing and feelings that we never spoke a word of, except in holding each other, and in the mingling of our tears. The `spell ' that we still didn't want to break, by speaking or moving apart, allowed us to sleep so closely all night - never moving or separating! 

As though there were demons who had fallen asleep and while we were unguarded by them, we were able to slip from the chains which bound us from each other and be together and we didn't dare disturb them and lose that contact!!! <I had no idea, at that time, that he had plans and would be with another woman in a few hours.... But - Roger did know........ and even to this day - I cannot comprehend the terrible reality of that fact..... >

next days' entry ~ We didn't speak this morning of anything. He said he might be back this evening or would call as usual. I had no idea what to say or hope to hear! I chose instead to just cherish the good that had happened. It renewed the memory of what I'd almost forgotten we are (can be) together at times!

Eric arrived home early! He looks great, his beard and all that! I so hope he'll decide to keep it! So good to have him home again, I've missed him. Whenever my son is at home, I just feel so safe, secure and contented. The kids had a wonderful time together outside. It was actually WARM! I took pictures. Jeanne and I enjoyed visiting. 

When I cleared the table to set it for dinner, I found that Roger hadn't taken those tax papers with him - OR filled them out either! See? That's why I try so hard to get him to do stuff like that ahead of time! They're due in the mail tomorrow! I tried, but couldn't reach him by phone. I can't afford calling him anyway, I'll just wait till he calls, I'm sure he'll REMEMBER anyway, he usually does at the last minute when a thing is due - remembers it on the very date it's due! That will be tomorrow! I looked to see if I could do them...but you know me and instructions! Better that I leave it alone! Why didn't he just do it early? Oh well.... nothing I can do now. We all actually fit and ate around the big table like the Waltons or something! I love it when we do that! Well, I'm tired. Long day. Besides, I wrote so much this morning that my hand is still tender from it! Enough!
Later - Roger never did call or return my call. He knows that worries me! I'll have to try to reach him at work so I can get them in the mail. He'll have to help me by phone, or I'll have to pay the $35.00 late fee! Hope not!

The above is the type of madness that is so difficult to explain or even comprehend when you are caught up in the patterns that repeat and repeat until something breaks it.... Had I not kept such a faithful and complete journal most of my life, which served as a life raft in the midst of the storm and then a lifeline to shore after the marriage ship-wrecked, split apart and sank into the sea of adultery...... I would have been lost in the sea of it all!

Two days later, I got my first reluctant glimpse into The Reality (which I avoided for so many years)   It began on............

April 30, 1993 - Friday
First hospitalization. So much has happened! I'm working on a real description about my feelings and the experience - but it won't get done in a day or two. It's actually Saturday morning (4:30 a.m.) and I'm writing this from the psychiatric ward of Shenandoah Memorial Hospital!

First I want to relate the usual trivial stuff. It was a nice day till evening came and I tucked Brandi into bed. The three of us really enjoyed playing and talking together! Brandi so loves her uncle Eric! She kept having him pick her up and hold her `hanging' the way he does and then tells her to `Struggle. Struggle, baby" Whereupon, she kicks and twists as though trying to get away while suspended there. She giggles and laughs so delightedly! It's one of their little rituals. And so our summer began...

We had a lot of catching up to do talking. I cleaned house really well and then, set myself to finish sewing (before the pain prevented me) Brandis' hand-made & embroidered sheets.

I'd been sure Roger would call - so I waited 'til 7:30. I especially didn't have the money for phone calls now that Eric is home to support too! Finally I called his room. Thelma said he hadn't been there. I waited another 2 hours. Still no call. I got scared! All sorts of things went through my head! Two nights now, without his ~I arrived home safe~ call!

I called "Shack",   Rogers' work-partner,  at home.   That's when I learned that Roger had put in for leave days ago and had said something about going to the Chesapeake Bay!   Incredible, I thought - that he would not even have mentioned it to me!    But even as the thought formed, another was forming too... I fought to refuse it but even as I did,  reality was cutting through all obstacles and evasions and I---------------->  (My journal entry stopped there because the gathering storm would not allow itself to be avoided or to be denied this time... and it utterly overwhelmed me in every way....  

I inserted a week later here in my journal - for I be *******(I'd stopped writing in my journal that night because I was overwhelmed with mixed emotions - mostly pain and a lot of anger and repulsion toward myself for all the times that I refused to acknowledge or act on `those thoughts' all these years!)

I paced the floor a while, mentally `beating myself up' and feeling disgusted with the whole present situation and my life in general. Then there was the acute and overwhelming pain too. Then I returned to this,  my notebook,  given to me  here (don't have my journal with me... will explain about that.... and wanted to write more, but found myself unable to do so, and so just wrote the following...

Look, I just can't do this right now, Dear Me. Best that I leave it for now in saying that I've come apart in what is commonly referred to as a `breakdown' - a loss of ability to continue or even perhaps, to survive pain or to regain and/or maintain a will to live?

Eric Lee Baker  About Me<bio>  Master Index  Family & Friends  Guestbook Home E-Mail 
All written materials Nina Roberta Baker    

The following is the outline of our  whole story.
This table is not
all linked.   I have been contacted about publishing and am having 
difficulty about whether I want to do that - so I've unlinked it until I choose.

A Marriage of One  
please read first

Infidelity Network

I was hospitalized 3 times,  summer <1993> before I was able to heal & move on

Each "stage" below represents a different hospitalization and is divided up into 3 portions due to size of document. 
Work is in progress!

Threshold  <Reality begins)
Sometimes & Then Forever
Ode to A Marriage 1997

Stage One #1 ~ #2 ~ #3

Little Girl

Stage Two #1 ~ #2 ~ #3

Moving On At Last

Stage Three#1 ~ #2 ~ #3

To The One <Hope & Faith>

Eric Lee Baker  About Me<bio>  Home  
Master Index
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