Hello, world. I’m Lucy.
My name comes from the Latin word lux and means light – it was a name usually given to girls who where born at dawn.
I have no idea what time I was born.
But I do know that I have seen more than my share of dark times. And I have decided that even if I can’t find the bright side, I’ll go ahead and be the light.
So I’m going to share my story here. I’m not special. Or I am. My heart has been broken. But I am not broken. My life is not a fairytale. But I’ll find my happily ever after. My world has felt pretty dark. But I am still full of light.
It’s been three years since DDay. In so many ways I am not the girl I was before that day. In so many ways I miss her. And in so many ways I am finding that I grateful for the changes (that’s the purpose of this blog).
Anyone who has the good fortune to still just imagine their reactions in the [unlikely, impossible] event that they discover their husband’s infidelity probably thinks they would just kick the cheater out and never look back. That it would be hard, but not impossible. That it would hurt, but that they would put themselves first and walk away from the man who didn’t. In real life, it doesn’t go like that. At least it didn’t for me.
I lost myself. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t function. That’s not an exaggeration. A year is a blur. Finding the details was an obsession.
But now I want my life back. I want to be proud of who I am. I want my life to mean something. At the end of the day I want to reflect on things and find I have done more than obsess about his selfishness and his affair and what they did and other things I cannot change. I want to be happy. I want to be funny. I want to accomplish things. I want to help people.
So I took a step. Today I managed to get to the dentist. I haven’t been since before DDay. I missed an appointment in the aftermath of it all and have never cared enough to go back (I have gone every 6 months for my whole life). I have still taken my kids on schedule to the dentist and orthodontist, I just didn’t care about myself. But I made the appointment earlier this week and they got me in today. And my teeth are in great shape. I’ve taken care of myself somehow. I think this is a sign. I matter. I’ll take care better of myself from now on. This was a successful first step, and I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other.
In a lot of ways, I am a woman still working on my goals in life. I feel like it’s a bit of a joke that I’m supposedly an adult. Technically, I mean. By the candles on my birthday cakes. I have a real job and I pay my bills and my household runs pretty smoothly. But I can’t pinpoint how exactly that happens. I guess because there is no other choice, right?
One of the things that is hardest for me to accept is that when trying to figure out why my husband cheated on me (spoiler alert: the answer is the same for anyone looking, and it’s because he was selfish and he wanted to and as much as I hate it and I would like something more unique or special, that’s it, and it’s basically always it) he told me he felt neglected while I was busy going about the work of our lives. Not my life. Our lives. The kids. Our family. It takes a lot of energy. He felt he didn’t get enough attention and appreciation so he stopped doing as much for us and found someone to do things for (use your imagination) who appreciated much less effort (doesn’t take much). Awesome. This is hard because now when I go about the work of our lives, in the back of my head I wonder if I have the balance right and he’s happy. Why wasn’t he worried about my happiness? Me getting enough attention and appreciation? Why wasn’t I worried about it?
He assures me he hates who he was then and that he is committed to our life and my happiness. I see the changes. I really do (they were slow at first). I want to believe. But I always wanted to believe. That was my problem. I don’t want to be suspicious or hold back or make him prove himself. But that’s who I am now. The girl I was before got cheated on. The girl I am now will not. The bad news is that I may be a little more cautious and even not really myself in the way I approach love and marriage anymore. That’s the good news too.
I am learning to accept this new me. I didn’t see myself as a woman who got cheated on. I didn’t see myself staying. But I accept that I have. I accept that I am. Well, mostly. I’m trying. I’ll find my way.
You know when you go to the emergency room and they ask you to rate your pain on a scale from 1-10? This has always been the hardest part for me. I think it’s a psychological test. I never really give them an answer above 5, but I worry that’s tempting the universe. I don’t want to know what a 9 feels like. I’ve been in some pretty intense pain before. But why complain? I prefer to believe that it isn’t that bad. That I’ll get better. I’ve passed out from the pain before. They asked why I said I was at a 5. I asked how I would know what a 10 is, and told them that maybe a 5 is all I have the capacity to endure.
Now I know what a 10 feels like.
I hope you don’t. I hope you think a 5 is a 10. I hope you never know a 10. Because the 10 stays. It never really goes away. Sometimes I think I’m fine. But I’m not. The pain is there. Once you know 10 pain, it never goes away. And any time I start to hurt at all, it is similar to continuing to bump your stubbed toe. I go from a 2 to a 10 in record time.
There’s no illness or disease.
He cheated on me.
DDay Pain rating = 10. The word “cheated” sounds too casual to inflict the permanent damage it does.
Three years later, I hover at a 4.
I promised to find the light, though. And so here it is. Nothing can ever hurt as much as that. And I’m still here. I can endure a 10. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t recommend it. But I made it. The pain felt debilitating. Crushing. If a doctor asked me to describe the symptoms, I don’t think I could do them justice. I had no idea how strong I am. My capacity for love. For forgiveness. My determination to fight. I learned a lot about myself, crawling through this pain. If you’ve been through this, I hope you see the strength in yourself. I am just starting to appreciate my progress and trust my light.