Yesterday, I had a bit of a bad day. It actually started when I was driving home from the airport. Just being back in the same place where I had the affair seemed oppressive after being away for a week and a half. I hadn’t forgotten about what I’d done when I was gone, it just didn’t seem to surround me the same way it does now.
Going back to work was even more depressing. I don’t mind the doing what I do, it’s where I’m doing it. This town seems to be haunted with the ghosts of the affair. “This is the car,” they say. “These are the roads, that is the parking lot, down there are the restaurants and the hotel, this is your office – all the places where you ruined your life.”
It’s no wonder my depression is the worst at work.
On the way home from church Sunday, my wife and I were discussing where to go for lunch. I threw out a list of the usual places where we could get food she could eat (which is a small list, especially on a Sunday). Each suggestion only seemed to irritate her more until she blew up. “I’m tired of the same old places! We always do the same things! We always eat the same places, we always watch the same things – that might be alright with you, but I NEED change!”
I’m sick of it too. I’m sick of always doing the same things. I’m sick of being told “I don’t care” and when I make a decision I get blamed. I’m tired of my decisions never being accepted, never being good enough.
Hell, I’m sick of the same old me. I’m sick of myself – the man who can’t excite his wife, the man who can’t give her all the change that she needs, the man who can’t come up with the perfect place to eat or the perfect plan for the evening, the man who had an affair, the man who is always trying to make others happy, always failing, always sacrificing and getting nothing in return.
The good news is going home usually makes things better. The mask chafes a little less at home. I see my children’s and wife’s smiling faces at home. The ghosts that haunt me at work and around town don’t follow me home.
I’m almost never suicidal at home, but there have been days when just safely driving home seemed like running the gauntlet. I had to block out the voices telling me “It would better if you just steered your car into that overpass. Or maybe you should go to that parking lot where you were caught and open up your veins. It wouldn’t hurt much and it would make this all go away.”
I haven’t seriously struggled with that in about a month, but every once in a while, I still find myself thinking about it.
Speaking of suicide, I had a talk with my wife while I was away. The circumstances don’t bear repeating, but suffice it to say the talk had turned to our sex lives. I said I’d made a mess of things since we met. I singlehandedly ruined our sex life by a whole litany of mistakes up to and including the affair. And that’s when shit got real, because I told her something I’ve never told anyone else. I said that when things had been really dark, I’d considered castrating myself as part of various suicidal rituals because that part of my anatomy has been either the cause or the focus on so many of our marital problems that I’m responsible for.
She took it about as well as you’d expect.
Fortunately, things haven’t been that dark in about a year or so, and that’s what I told her. She still thinks I need to see someone professionally. I think she’s right.