Last week I was in touch with a member of our Alps 2016 party and mentioned that when BG got back from Rjukan that her and the fellow novice should come over of drinks and a catch up. Her reply was that she and the fellow novice would not be attending any future social events together as he had cheated on her and they were getting a divorce.
‘???’ was my reply.
I was stunned. It had seemingly come from nowhere.
Back when we were in Zermatt, we waved off our other halves and it was all a bit too much, myself and the fellow novice found the Brown Cow bar, sat in there all afternoon and it was there that I told him about the enormous pile of shit that I had been dealt with. He condemned everything. EVERYTHING.
When confronted with this after cheating on his own wife his response was something along the lines of this:
‘Well now that I’ve done this myself, I now have empathy for others that do this because I realise now how brave you have to be.’
Thank you very much for justifying everything that was morally wrong with what another man and his tart on the side think is perfectly acceptable to do to another human being.
My fellow novice, you are not brave. What you have done to another human is not brave. I shall tell you what brave is.
Brave is having the world as you know it completely, entirely and so unexpectedly ripped from beneath you and having to face it even though it wasn’t your choice.
It is learning to understand that despite the fact you have been painted as a cruel, controlling and selfish woman that you are entirely the opposite and it is just a way of the “brave one” justifying why they didn’t have the courage to tell you they were unhappy long before the other woman came along.
Bravery is dealing with the intensity of the pain that you have caused. I would never wish this feeling on anybody but those that caused it. That intensity makes you want the world to stop because you don’t know how much longer you can feel like that. Your head can’t process anything, be it what is happening or how it happened. There is a constant noise inside your head that doesn’t go away and a pain inside your body that nothing will turn off. I remember vividly just wanting to have some sort of peace for ten minutes but it never comes. And this feeling feels like it will never end. It is heartbreaking seeing somebody else go through this stage. Enduring this is bravery.
Sometimes you don’t want to be the brave one but you have to be. You have to face the legalities of what somebody has done to you. From removing their name off joint bills to having a solicitor tell you that in the eyes of the law it doesn’t matter how you have been treated, it only matters what you are entitled to financially. It feels like those who should care don’t care. It is bravery that gets you through.
One of the worst parts of my divorce was having representative of the mortgage lender sit and tell me that they weren’t prepared or willing to help me in the way that was not only needed but entirely logical. I sat there while a complete stranger told me that essentially I will have to lose my home because I couldn’t afford their solution. I sat there and listened to a complete stranger tell me that they wouldn’t help me out of a situation that I never caused while the one that did cause it was happily skipping along in his happy new life because despite the adult situation he created, he never had to deal with the adult consequences of it. Now, tell me who was the brave one there?
The bravery doesn’t stop when the legal stuff is done with. It has to continue for the rest of your life. You have to find the courage to learn to trust again. The consequences of the lying, cunning and devious adulterer’s actions aren’t temporary. It is a constant battle with emotion and logic that could very easily ruin any future chance of finding happiness. A perfectly trusting relationship could easily end if you allowed yourself to question every move and word of a new partner, it could turn into a destructive cycle. It takes BRAVERY to let yourself trust again. It is not easy and it makes me so angry that it is now ‘no longer their problem’.
The lasting damage has is done seems to vary, but the biggest problem for me is anxiety. I cannot stand to be alone for too long because it drags up all the feelings of when I was first left for a dumpy little Canadian who has no morals. But these consequences do not matter to those that caused them. They moved on long before we were aware that there was even anything wrong, they are miles ahead in their emotional future while we are left behind to deal with everything that is thrown our way.
We end up being the brave ones. You, fellow novice and friends, your moment of ‘bravery’ lasted a brief moment and it was done. Our bravery has to continue for a long time after and perhaps forever.