Need a recap of what I'm talking about? read HERE.
A means to a bitter end, & a happier beginning...
A means to a bitter end, & a happier beginning...
Things were pretty quiet for months following. And I do mean months.
Tori pretty much kept her & her husband to her side of the apartment, & we kept to ours.
There was a few awkward exchanges here and there.
Even few times that things would seem almost normal,
but those were few and far between.
A few times I would hit my wits end with Tori. Her husband would come to me and explain that Tori was keeping him posted on things between Ryan & I and he was disappointed and frustrated with me for my patience. A few times I would mention my distaste for her attitude and lack of respect for me around the house. Her husbands response floored me:
"Well she is just really upset with the on goings of you two. She feels like you two have allowed your personal strife to leak into the household life, and its affecting her now as well. She just really feels uncomfortable with it all."
I'VE let it in to the household life?!
IT'S HALF BECAUSE OF HER I'M GOING THROUGH THIS!!
But I can't say that, because he still doesn't know. As much as I WANT to tell him. As much as I HATE that I have to lie by omission. As much as it KILLS me to watch Tori allow her husband to wander aimlessly through his life unaware of the betrayal right under his nose.. in his OWN HOUSE.
Disgusting. I hated myself for being even a part of it.
Which is why a few different times I almost told him. I would breakdown and subconsciously BEG him to ask me about it so that I could tell him. Would drop little hints and cues to cause a conversational reaction between the two of us, but it never happened.
That was part of my agreement with Tori. I would not say anything, because it was not my place to ruin her family for my personal revenge. I cared about Linnie way to much for that. It was on HER to own up to her mistake. But if her husband ever ASKED me.. I would not lie. I would tell the truth. And if Tori waited too long to own up, eventually I would give. If we got to a year later (Which at this point was when Ryan & I would hopefully be moved out) and she still hadn't told him, I wouldn't be able to stay quiet.
Which is basically what happened. After at least 3 separate times almost telling him, & him never actually asking me I broke. ( I found out later that EACH time I would almost tell him, instead of asking me, he would ask TORI. He would straight ASK her, "Are you the one Ryan had an affair with?" & she would lie to his face and say no. THREE TIMES.)
So when Tori went to a bachelorette party for her sister, leaving her husband home with me alone with me for the first time in forever, I took my chance. Now I will note, it didn't start as a "I'm going to tell him" kind of conversation.. but it definitely ended up that way. I still had moments of guilt for being the one to tell him, and in that fear I told him my whole story.. no holds barred.. incriminating myself along with Ryan and.. an un-named female. I just couldn't do it. I did everything I could to tell him the important parts without actually naming names.
I told him exactly how I felt, my pain, my guilt, my sadness... everything. And in the moment, that very close friend for the last SIXTEEN years was there for me.
He was patient. He was sincere. He was understanding.
He told me that in the end, I was in between a rock and a hard place with no good choice to make. He assured me that I'm only human and will make mistakes just like anyone else. That this situation was extremely difficult and severely out of my hands and he understood my lack of confidence and unsureness of what to do. He was on my side...
for the moment.
And that helped.
But again he never asked me. I came to the conclusion that aside from coming straight out with "Your wife had an affair with my husband." he was never going to know. I was extremely discouraged.
Oh was I wrong.
The next day I awoke to loud banging sounds and yelling. Still groggy from sleep I struggled out of bed just as the front door slammed shut. Confused I stumbled into the quiet, dark living room. It took a few minutes of standing there to realize there was a small sobbing coming from Tori's bedroom. I walked in to find her sitting on the edge of her bed.
"What's going on?"
"He took Linnie, & left. He's so mad. He's leaving Me. He knows!"
I didn't know how to react. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't have a large sigh of relief escape from me, but seeing Tori that destroyed broke my heart.
So I did what any normal, compassionate person would do. I sat with her. I held her. I calmed her as much as could and helped her breathe. I held her hand while she called her husband & listened patiently while he yelled and berated her. Then I wiped her tears and helped her make a plan. I was there for her, cause that is what friends do.
I may not make the best of choices all the time, but in the end I am a great friend.
After a few hours her husband finally sent me a text. It started out calm, escalating quickly to insults from him, chastising me. In the moment I was hurt, & I wanted very strongly to retaliate. But in the end I understood. He was dealing with alot of betrayal all at once and expressing his feelings as any normal person would in this situation. He was doing the one thing I wished for months and months that I had done and never did.
He was being ANGRY, as he was allowed.
I had never once got to be really angry. Or upset. Or really even hurt.
Things happened so rapidly for me that I felt I was under scrutiny to act appropriately or my world would tumble down. I had just had a baby. All I could think about was that little boy and not doing anything rash to screw up his future life. I grew up the oldest child of three, all from separate dads. We all had to shuttle around and live the split-family life. I did not want that for Kai. So I held on, fought my ass off, and did whatever was necessary to fix my marriage.
For a split moment I was jealous of him. For holding enough power in the relationship that he had with Tori that the thought of not having him brought her to her knees. That wasn't there for me. I was very torn... I was also very worried about my friend.
We had found out through a mutual acquaintance that after dropping Linnie of with family he had made his way to a local bar. Knowing he was going to be trashed very soon, I left Tori & Ryan at the apartment with Kai & went looking for him. I followed some hints around and found out eventually he had called another close friend and had been picked up and taken back to the friends house. He was safe, so I went home.
But then I received a text from him that would throw all of those feelings out the window.
What happened next I never saw coming.
I expected him to say Ryan couldn't stay there. That was a given. Which Ryan & I had discussed at length, to which we had decided he would sleep in his car if the situation ever arose. Ryan was fine with that, understood that it just made sense. We had already gotten a new apartment at this point and was waiting the 30 days for it to be available to move in. But what was demanded of us was not for Ryan's departure.. but myself & Kai's as well.
"I want you out Jaimie. Tonight."
"I'm sorry. I really don't care what you want, we don't have that ability."
"I don't give a shit. Gone. By tonight."
"Well you better give a shit. Cause I'm NOT leaving. I pay rent here and I will not be taking my 1 year old to live in my car for a month. I understand I've had a whole year longer to come to terms with what has happened, but you need to calm down."
"I don't have to do a damn thing I don't want to. This is on MY terms now. What I say GOES, OR ELSE. I get whatever I want now, MY rules."
"I'm sorry, but again. You need to calm down. I have no way to get out right away, but we get the keys to the apartment in less than 30 days. Pull up your big-boy britches and deal. You can threaten all you want, but I'm not afraid of you."
But the truth was, I think actually might have been scared. Even if it was just a little.
I didn't feel safe there. & I definitely didn't want my son anywhere near Tori's husband when he finally came home.
I was once again lost. confused. unsure.
I had no idea what my next move was.
I ended up calling my dad & begging him to let us stay in his new RV for the month. When he heard that I felt Kai was unsafe, there was no question. I called a few close girlfriends who dropped what they were doing and came over that night to help Tori and I pack my entire life up into boxes. During this Ryan had to leave to work, and felt horrible leaving us to take care of everything. I definitely cried a few times. But after a few hours everything was packed. Ryan's boss let him come home early and a work buddy let him borrow their truck so things could get done faster. Sooner than I thought I was sitting in my dad's house with half my things, the other half still sitting in the apartment with Tori, bawling my eyes out while rocking Kai to sleep.
I couldn't believe where my life had ended up.
Before I left, Tori had given me a hug.
"Thank you so much for being there for me and understanding through all of this."
"Ofcourse, I still love you."
"And I love you too. No matter what, please don't let this come between us..
Please can we stay friends?"
"Tori, if I haven't stopped talking to you yet what makes you think I'm going to start now?"
I meant every word.
So when the next few weeks went by with no contact, no communication, I started to wonder. When we received the keys to the apartment, I set a time to go retrieve the rest of my things. I was told that I was not allowed if her husband was there. I was not allowed to see Linnie either. I was NOT ALLOWED. I was shocked, but went about my way gathering my things, cleaning the room the best I could, and leaving on a good note.
A week or so later when I went to pick up mail that had made it there before our address change, I was appalled at the way Tori acted towards me. Cold. Distant. She informed me that she would lose her husband if he stayed friends with me, and that was that. No conversation, no I'm sorry. Just a shoulder shrug with her hands in her pockets. I began to cry and she laughed it off, Telling me how she was sorry I missed her but this was how it was going to be, then practically closing the door on me. After all the patience I had for her. All the ways I was there for her after what her poor choices put me through. All the ways that even after it all I still supported her.
Are you KIDDING me?!
I was heartbroken.
It took me days to bounce back from that emotional slap in the face. But when I did, it was like a whole new me. I decided to stop living my life sad about people who obviously aren't sad about losing me. I removed all pictures of Tori from my picture frames,
(which was a lot harder than it sounds. I have ALOT of them,
and am very attached to the photos I see everyday.)
I changed my daily routine. I worked day & night to get the house up to par by my standards. I went shopping and stocked up on all the things that Tori & I shared that I had chose to leave behind.
I made us a home of our OWN..
& since then I can't even explain to you the lightness I feel. That Ryan & I BOTH feel. Things are so much better now. Happier. We never realized how much the living situation was bringing us down! Even our relationship has flourished beyond compare.
We laugh, we love, we TALK. Communication is so much better now.
We can actually sit on the couch night after night, or go out on a date and actually enjoy time together.
It's so nice!
As much as I hate how we got here, I wouldn't change how things happened for anything. Ryan & I are better, stronger, and more in love than we ever were.
I wouldn't change that for the world.
Don't forget to check out
my photo blog Pocket Memories
my photo blog Pocket Memories