Waking up is never simple. Wake up calls arrive, unwelcome like the daily alarm clock that stirs you from your beautiful reverie. Pulled unwilling into consciousness, it’s time to face life. Your days may feel like a daily grind, or endlessly joyful, whichever it is invariably something will come to smash it to pieces and wake you up.
Even in moments of deep happiness you may experience occasional indigestion. Your diet and how you are digesting life may come to a crunch point and the shit you are ignoring will need to be addressed. All you may require are some small changes, more water, less meat, increase the green stuff. However, your waking up may be more serious; a heart attack and a mental breakdown can happen to the strongest person. Seemingly loving relationships can turn ugly. Accidents can pull even the most safety conscious to their knees.
Without a crystal ball and even they can be faulty, we do not know what is around the next corner and what will be waking us up.
Waking up – Let me take you back to May 17th, 2014
I opened the computer and staring at me was the then husband’s penis. Only a few minutes earlier an insistent voice had instructed me to ‘open the computer.’ The voice was loud, but there wasn’t anyone there. I looked around and feeling foolish, I stepped towards the kitchen table and tentatively touched his mobile phone. ‘Open the computer!’ this time louder and more urgent.
Laughing at myself and looking around again to check if anyone was with me, I did as I was told. Maybe it was my guardian angel. Did angels shout I wondered? With nothing better to do and a feeling that I needed to obey this higher power, I did as I was told. There has to be a first for everything right? What greeted me was vile. The husband of only seventeen months had been corresponding with another woman who was married with three children.
The conversation covered stuff about me, her husband, random tittle-tattle, secret assignations and among other pictures his penis. It was the picture of his penis that stopped me short. A rare sight indeed. Previously, he had sat naked on the bed and told me that he was impotent. I was gutted. Our sex life was pretty rubbish and on more than one occasion I had suggested sex therapy. I found it hard to be with a person who lacked empathy and connection. I couldn’t understand his poke and go attitude and how he would joke that foreplay was a good curry. There was no adventure in him. He was one of the most uninteresting sexual partners I’d ever had. Stupidly I thought I could find a way to make our love life something more than this unsatisfying short grunting act.
As I skimmed their secret life, not only was I mad as hell, it dawned on me that no wonder he didn’t have time for me, he was getting his rocks off elsewhere. On full display; their naked betrayal. I felt sick and alone. As I dug deeper, I found that throughout our five-year relationship, he had been getting off with other women, via Facebook and several other interesting ‘dating’ sites that I never knew existed. What an education I received in the next few hours.
The sad truth was that I couldn’t have known; I lived in a world of constant stress, and he played me well. It transpired that the dull, sexless husband was in reality extremely promiscuous, thriving on casual sex with equally promiscuous women and on the risk of being potentially caught. And caught he finally was. Would it be devilish for me to say that it was an enormous relief to catch him out? I suspect a lot of wives might not have been so bemused, I, however, rather relished not having to put up with him a moment longer. It’s peculiar isn’t what goes through your mind in times of stress?
When we first met, the unpleasant ending of a long previous relationship and being made redundant had tarnished my world. I was in hindsight unable to function at my highest level and this man, whom I thought cared for me, rescued and manipulated me for his own ends, creating a veneer of respectability, while he carried out his disgusting activities. The control was insidious, creeping quietly along, unnoticed and barely detectable. He fooled me into thinking I was cared for. He took perverse pleasure in annoying me, into finding my weak spots and prodding until I gave way. I came to love being able to rant back at him; it felt liberating after so many years of bottling things inside.
It wasn’t as if I wasn’t assertive, just ask any of my family and friends. But what happened here is quite beyond me. When he bullied me, I sat him down to explain how this made me feel. When I felt desperately unloved, I explained how my heart hurt. However, through it all, whatever I said fueled his fire, and he used everything I brought up against me. He was great at twisting and turning things. Foolishly I thought that this was just his way, a bit childish, but nothing I couldn’t handle. There were many times I wanted to get away from him and then he showed me kindness. I yearned for romance and wanted to be married. I’d waited almost 20 years for Mr. Right I was damn well going to make it work. The beautiful, if a little irritating, husband I thought I had, never existed, it was evident he didn’t love me and never had.
You would, of course, be right to wonder what on earth I was doing with him. You are right and please don’t ask me, I might wither and cringe or give you a wry smile. I had hoped that I could find a way sort it all out. I believed that despite the sex issues and his bullying that we were quite good friends, I thought that there was a kindness in him that others couldn’t see and that maybe this was what marriage in later life was like – companionship. And if the truth be told, when I looked at Ferdy dog, our first dog, I just couldn’t abandon him. I loved my dog more than life itself. Imagine that; my mind was so addled, I stayed for the dog. I’ve heard of people staying for the kids and maybe only another doggie mum might understand.
After I had discovered his secret life, he told me that he would have given this and the other women up and come to Spain with me. Sadly for him, I spoilt his fun (his words) and his Spanish dream.
In the days that followed the discovery of his secret life, I found I was surprisingly strong. I hurt, but instead of seeing failure, or being a victim; I saw a bright and scarily exciting future – I felt myself waking up. There were days of crashing emotion when I lost my appetite for life and when I ran things over in my mind, I tasted disgust. Soon he became dead to me.
As I re-read his emails and Facebook posts they somehow became part of a macabre script I was given to review. He, the protagonist, was a promiscuous sexual predator. The other characters in our dark drama knew that he was in a relationship, performed sexual favours as naturally as breathing. The fodder for the play was rich and boundless. Knowing that he was (in my opinion) nothing short of a low life scum bag, helped me to steel myself against him.
When the cheeky git, desperate to get rid of me, gave me passports for the dogs and told me I could take them, the motorhome and leave, I reached out to my community for help. Luckily a solicitor friend briefed me on my rights, and I stayed to fight. Fight I did. I was now his adversary, a thorn in his side, a woman with evidence. Because I had ‘evidence’ I was in his opinion a blackmailer and a person of low morals. I did indeed ask for money. I felt it was my right and that he should provide for me, considering that I had given up two years of my life to care for his elderly ungrateful mother. He, of course, had other ideas of what my value was. Scarily, I came to realize I was no longer of any use to him, and I knew to survive this I would have to become an actress and play my part.
We both played a game of getting on and laughed at how we were managing to get through this amicably. It was no fun, and he scared the shit out of me. On more than one occasion, I dreamt he was going to murder me. He was doing what he did best – playing mind games. One morning he was playing a YouTube video on how to electrocute someone and in the next breath wanting to help me to move to Spain. By this time Spain became my only option, I couldn’t find anywhere for us (the dogs, there were now two, and I) to live and with virtually no money I wondered what would become of my furry family. We went through this odd cycle of me saying he could come to Spain to help me settle in and check the electrics and then freaking and saying no he couldn’t. He even tried to sell the motorhome from under me after it became apparent that I wanted to go on my own. He was clever, but not that clever.
On July 3rd, I woke up and knew I had to leave. I packed the motorhome with what I could fit in, invited my dogs to join me and headed out for an adventure to Spain.
This was the start of a series of wake-up calls. Little did I know that more waking up was to come…
This post is part of a 30-day blogging challenge and has been written to test ideas and content for my new book ‘The Conscious Woman’s Guide to tapping into her divine inner wisdom’.