Today, it has been exactly one year since I found out about M's affair.
That morning, I had been up every 3 hours with E (and I know it was every 3 hours, because he was still a preemie - 37 weeks - and I was setting an alarm to wake him to feed every 3 hours!). I thought M had to work at 5am (his schedule was very erratic) and he wasn't awake yet, so I decided to check his schedule on his BlackBerry. We were completely open with each other about our phones and passwords and things, so it wasn't weird or abnormal for me to do so.
I checked, and saw that he didn't work until noon or something, I can't remember. As I was exiting the calendar, I saw a new email account that I wasn't aware of. Not only was it new, it was in that transparent ghosty state, the kind that comes when you click "show hidden" - if you have a BlackBerry you know what I mean. I'm not sure if other phones do that. Anyway. I thought it was weird, but I wasn't too concerned - I thought maybe his regular email had gotten too filled with junk, or he wanted a "junk" account specifically for mandatory forms and stuff. Whatever. But I was curious, and I opened it.
There was one email. "Thank you for joining MySpace. Click here to activate your account..." Hmmm. He already had a MySpace, and he didn't use it much. I was starting to get suspicious, so I logged onto the new account. He had one friend - a girl. His profile picture was a picture of only his abs. His status was "I need to find a secret place...." Her status was "I wish I was with someone special..." and had that stupid mood smiley with the eyes that are hearts. Ugh. Those images are seared into my memory like it was yesterday.
I woke him up and said "Who is she?" For a minute he tried to act like he didn't know what I was talking about. I showed him his own MySpace page.
And then something in his face... I'll never forget that look. Kind of like... an angry... yet... defeated look. Like, "Well, the poop has hit the fan, so I'm just going to do whatever I want." It's extremely difficult to describe. But from the time he made that face, he turned into someone I no longer knew.
It was as if he didn't know me from Eve. My feelings no longer mattered, the past that we'd shared no longer mattered. The future we'd planned evaporated before my eyes.
I called my mom. Sobbing. "Mom, he did it again. Can I come home?"
I called his mom. "He did it again. I don't have anyone else to ask for help... can you come help me pack?"
He went to work. Like nothing was wrong.
I don't really remember the rest of that day. I called a friend and stayed the night at her house. She got up in the night with E so I could sleep. It was so sweet.
The next day I went back to our apartment. I asked M to speak with him privately, as his parents had already arrived. I begged him to work on this. I said that I knew that I had said I was going to leave, but we needed to try. For E. Please. Please. Please. He said no, he didn't think we'd ever get past it. I asked if I could at least go stay with his parents for awhile, four hours away. Try separating for awhile. See how it went. He said no, that's not going to work. You need to go home.
I asked one more time before I left. Again, the answer was no.
So, his parents took me to the airport. I took my baby on an airplane two weeks before his due date, during RSV season. It's a miracle he didn't get sick.
And that was that. It's already been a year. My baby is now a toddler, and I'm a year further in my education. Other than that, things haven't really changed. I'm not divorced. I live at home. I haven't been on a date.
But I'm a different person. I'm not the girl who woke up that morning, concerned about getting her beloved husband off to work. I don't even know her anymore.
I'm cynical and bitter. I'm independent and smart. I always doubt other people's intentions. I do things myself now - I don't wait for someone to save me. I've done more in the past year than I knew I could, and more than I ever thought I would have to.
And for E? It's totally worth it. All of it.
I didn't come out unscathed though. I'm afraid I'll always be this way. Scary. Damaged.
But who knows. In another year? I could be a completely different girl.