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For the longest time I found it extremely hard to face a new day, every day. I was troubled by a lot of dark thoughts about life, love, and lessons learned. I never really experienced the "existential phase" so many teenagers seem to go through, so I guess for the first time in my life I realized just how tentative a  hold I had on all the things that were important to me, and just how suddenly they could all be taken away. "Nothing is forever," I had to remind myself over and over again.

Jonathan recovered and was absolutely no worse for the wear. As of December of that same year, his life moved on in a different direction, which is another story in and of itself.

Scott recovered, too, although to this day I feel a twinge of panic whenever he isn't 'feeling well'.  He has not smoked since the heart attack, and has lost forty pounds. He's also very physically active now, with all systems running smoothly. He is on a strict regimen of blood pressure and cholesterol meds, and is only allowed the rare serving of red meat.

Of all of the situations I encountered in that two week period, I would have to say that I and our marriage have taken the longest to recover. I have healed slowly, but am getting back to normal. I very nearly left him in those days immediately following all of the chaos and confusion. What kept me still initially was being wracked with guilt over wanting to leave. I have never enjoyed being angry at Scott, as some women seem to be when their husbands give them cause to be so, but being angry with a heart patient takes a toll on one's soul.  

I just took such exception to the fact that Scott knew that I found any excuse for dishonesty to be lacking, and that no explanation of addiction or anything else would make me feel better about it. He hadn't just kept the truth from me; he had outright lied to my face when my radar had picked up on the signs and I had directly questioned him.  

Then I was made to feel bad for having suspected him in the first place.  And he had even made light of my own struggle to quit smoking at some points! How could he, knowing all along that the only reason he wasn't struggling with it was because he hadn't quit?! And so the litany went inside my head. And to remember and rehash all of those things over and over again only served to keep me angry. And I couldn't even share my anger with anyone else, because I didn't want him to look back to anybody! There were moments I would have gladly lost my mind, just to be done with thinking about it all.

One day I just had to let it go. The distance I insisted on keeping between my husband and me was affecting his recovery, and I wanted him to be better, even if I was angry with him. He needed my forgiveness, and I needed the release that would come in giving it. He needed my love, so I gave that back to him too, although tentatively at first. I had been burned by a source I thought incapable of such danger, and was loathe to open myself up to it again. But I did, and have not been burned since.

During the last week of November we got one more heart stopper when my best friend Lisa called me from the hospital to tell me that she had suffered a stroke. She had refused to let anyone else call me, she said, because she knew the month I was having. Because of her own quick thinking, she had been able to convey the word "hospital" to her husband, who then promptly took her there. Because this was her first stroke, and because she received immediate medical attention, she suffered no lasting effects.  

I'd like to say that I'm confident that November 2007 was just one of those things, and that I don't foresee a repeat of a month-long ordeal in my future. I'd like to say that, but I'd rather not push my luck.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Thank you for sharing this personal story. Its good to hear that Scott is better and taking initiative to lead a better lifestyle.

      You are an incredible woman, stay strong.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Thanks so much, Stephanie!! I appreciate you taking the time to read.

      Scott’s daughter just got here, and she hasn’t seen him in over a year, and the first things she said is that he looks spectacular.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Merlot63 wrote Nov 9, 2008
    • Heather, you are such a strong and smart woman!  People make mistakes.  Sometime big mistakes. I’m sure now that Scott knows what he was about to lose by being dishonest with you he will never repeat that mistake. I wish that lesson didn’t have to be as painful for you, especially on top of everything else you were going through.  

      Thanks you so much for sharing your beautifully written story.  Wishing you an extra specially wonderful November this year.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • So far, Irit, this November has been brilliant. Quiet for the most part, although yesterday my eldest step-daughter arrived from Canada, and my youngest step-daughter and our granddaughter came too.

      I’m grateful for the lessons we’ve both learned through all we went through last year. I definitely don’t take the people in my life for granted; I was never one to do that a lot anyway, but now I’m hyper-aware of the potential for doing so.  

      And forgiveness has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. In my desire to protect myself, I tend to be a bit hard-hearted. I’m making huge efforts to change that. So far, I’m doing all right.

      Thanks for your continued reading and comments while I worked out this out. It’s amazing the things I’ve learned about myself by putting the words down and looking at them.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rene' Grandon wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • My heart goes out to you Heather. I know how you feel about the betrayal. I have been there too my husband right after our oldest was born. Had weekend fling with old girlfriend,while I was out of town showing off our new baby boy to family in Texas.The signs were there, I accused, and he made me feel bad for doubting him. many months went by before he broke down and told me everything.
      I know it is not the same situation,but such betrayal from The one you think would never hurt you actually does and it breaks your heart.
      I must commend you on your strength, and your ablity to put it a side to heal him. The trust was broken in our relationship and he has worked very hard at rebuilding it.
      I still love my husband just as you do yours. I had to forgive and learn to trust again. It happened and it can happen for you too. Try not to beat yourself up about feeling that hurt again, that happens too. Just remember you love him,he loves you and together you guys can endure and come out the better on the other side. I am glad your son was fine,I know how that is. You are a strong and very caring woman and I am glad your husband has made a recovery and changed life,and that you guys are working it out.
      I hope you have a blessed November,sounds like you are off to a good start. I am dreading turning 41 this month. Plus family squabbles may make my thanksgiving kinda lonely.
      I hope I have helped even a little bit,and wasn’t to far off.

      Luv Ya Girl,
      Bella



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • Bella, you‘re absolutely right. When it gets down to betrayal, it’s all pretty much the same.

      I’m sorry that you‘re going through the recovery of such, too. I sometimes wonder if we were just presented with ONE THING to deal with at a time, if we could perhaps keep better control of our emotions. The same goes for our husbands, and their weaknesses in the face of their own challenges.

      Thanks so much for sharing your heart with me here. I’m sorry this November is looking a little bleak for you. Trust that “nothing is forever“, and if all else fails, you’ve got us right here! :)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rene' Grandon wrote Nov 10, 2008
    • I really appreciate that Heather, and I must admit you guys are my saving grace. as i swim through this time of depression of not being full time mom anymore,the old empty nest syndrome. All the fabulous people here on Fab40 have been like a blog theraphy for me. Believe me Heather I am here for you and all of you too. This is such a great caring bunch of people,and that just means so much.
      Love you guys!!!

      Ciao,
      Bella



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Darby wrote Nov 11, 2008
    • Heather, I am glad you were able to start moving beyond the lie.  Not only for Scott but for you.  It is hard to let go of that kind of thing espeically having past dishonesty come into it too. Great strength in you.  

      I am very happy that Scott is recovering so well. And that your current November is doing better!  

      Thank you for sharing this amazing personal story!



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