I learned an interesting thing this week.
Yesterday, at 9:23 in the morning, I said something to my spouse that I thought would be the hardest thing. It’s been building for months — the secrecy, the will-I-or-won’t-I deliberations, the heartache and confusion — and then I finally said it:
I said, I had an affair.
And then I said, I’m sorry.
And then I said, I don’t know what it means yet.
I thought it would be difficult. And it is incredibly painful to be vulnerable and to know that inside the vulnerability is not some sweet seed of connection but an act that caused pain to another person. And to myself and to our daughter as well, of course.
But I thought it would be difficult because it has everything to do with the pattern of scarcity, of not-enoughness, which is actually not about enoughness but my worst fear, the one that hides even deeper than fear of loss of self: my worst fear is that I will be rejected.
But that wasn’t the hardest or most confusing thing, by a long shot.
No, the hardest part came when I got in the car and drove away from the counselor’s office and started thinking to myself, Why can’t I feel anything?
Not because it wasn’t a valid response; not because I wanted to feel anything in particular.
But because I was also thinking, It’s been like this for a while. And worse: I know exactly why. And I know how to fix it. And how hard it would be.