Weird feeling and a few realizations - AP has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition
Background: WH and AP and OBS all worked together during the A. PA began in 2017 and ended in 2019 AP and OBS have divorced (as have we) but all three of them still work together. I have moved away but WH and I are still pretty close friends and frequently talk. Whether we will R remains unseen - but does not seem likely due to geography and my unwillingness to commit to much more than what we have now.
WH's work, aside from a pretty high govt security clearance, also has very strict medical clearances meaning a lot of things can make it so you can't work his job (anti-depressants are a no-go for example as are high blood pressure meds without 6 month checkups). I had forgotten, a few months back, WH told me that AP was out on medical leave - that she had been having some kind of balance issues or something, but I didn't think much of the medical issue due to his work being so strict about when people can work and when they cannot as things don't have to be medically "serious" to preclude you from being able to work. At his/their work if someone is gone/out it affects the whole schedule - people have to shift around to be sure things are covered - for safety reasons, so it is not odd that he knows. Also, there, everyone is waaaaaaay into everyone else's business due to their close quarters/tight schedules so people have been talking about APs absence being somewhat serious (which is why when the A came to light it was a major topic).
The first weird thought: I can hardly believe it but I FORGOT AP hadn't been working with WH for the last 2 (maybe 3) months - until he mentioned her medical problems last night. I haven't given it a thought since he told me back in May or April??? Not going to lie, it feels pretty awesome to not care about that at all anymore. Years ago I would have been so happy she wasn't there - it would have been such a relief - but now I forgot??? Crazy.
So WH and I are talking on the phone last night and he is talking about how bad the schedule has been lately and how they are short-staffed and sees no relief: someone recently retired, one of their trainees after 2 years in the training pipeline didn't pass, someone else is trying to transfer out and thinks they will be approved, and AP and another co-worker are still out on medical and it sounds like neither of them may never be able to come back. In AP's case, apparently she is faced with some sort of brain tumor which has caused brain hemorrhaging, a stroke, and may also be cancerous and it appears that operating on it may not be possible. WH heard this from several people at work and knows no other details aside from the general gossip-rumor mill.
AP is roughly 35 and has a young son and is still single (as in not married - rumor mill is that she is seeing someone else, not that it matters except maybe she has some support while going through this).
Second weird thought: Upon WH telling me this, my first thought was: Good.
The moment after I think that I immediately felt a big pang of "Ugh." Good??? That is not the person I am. I am very empathetic normally, almost to a fault, and while in the midst of all the infidelity madness I often fantasized that she would be abducted by aliens or become a nun and move to South America or something, I never ever fantasized that something bad - really bad - would happen to her. That just isn't who I am, yet my first thought is some sort of happiness that something really bad has come her way made me feel almost instantly sick to my stomach. What. The. Actual. Fuck.
I didn't say a word about my mental reaction and instead asked my WH how that made him feel. His reaction was "I would not wish that on anyone, but I don't feel any desire to reach out, and haven't spent much time thinking about it, other than I hope she recovers as I certainly don't wish anyone dead." So in this case my WH's reaction, at least to me, is the more appropriate one. I guess I am just immensely disappointed with myself for such a reaction, because it was so pure, so instant - I can't ignore that part of me - this vindictive part that is happy that someone may be dying because they were involved in hurting me.
Really aside from talking to people on this site, I rarely ever even give her a passing thought. I really do believe that my WH was the problem for our relationship - his choices, his decisions - and that she could have been anyone (some about which he also agrees) and aside from her harassment of me at the end (which really amounted to some mind-numbingly ridiculous messages and a few drunk phone calls, which were all about her anyway) she was a nobody or an anybody. Yet for a moment, I mentally celebrated what can only be categorized as a very serious life-threatening medical condition.
I know this is nothing other than a very shameful gut reaction. I am not harboring something deeper. It's just a weird feeling to know I can think something like that. This morning I woke up feeling a bit bad for her - for her son. It would be horrible to have such a thing happen to you - to feel so out of control. I would not wish such things on anyone. So, in other words, I feel more like me today.
24 comments posted: Monday, August 7th, 2023
A small ramble on my hatred of the word "mistake"
I will admit that pre-A I never paid much attention to the word mistake, and I rarely classified anything as a bad decision. Mistakes seemed lighter - less within your control. Bad decisions sounded - well - bad. Like a person who made a bad decision had total control over their actions and made a bad choice. But I really never gave it much of a thought - and I can really get hung up on words.
From the moment I discovered the A to today (whenever we talk about the A now which isn't often) I am not sure how many times my WH classified his actions relating to the A as "mistakes" - having sex with her was a "mistake," treating me like a door mat was a "mistake," lying to me and everyone he knew - yep, another "mistake." After spending an inordinate amount of time on this site and seeing countless users write (in response to me and others) something like this in one form or another: "Having sex with someone else was not a mistake. His ___ did not mistakenly fall into her _____," at some point around 1 year from d-day 1 and in the immediate aftermath of d-day 2, I cut him off when he was claiming yet another "mistake" occurred. when trying to answer one of my many questions. I didn't just cut him off - I tore into him repeating just about every line I had heard here about how what he did was NOT a mistake but instead was a series of horrible decisions - bad choices. I basically banished him from using the word mistake in reference to his A, ever.
So, now fast forward 5 years...I really don't have much leftover trauma from the infidelity. I don't have many "triggers" to speak of, but the word Mistake is one that gets me every time. So this weekend I hear someone on a TV show taking about making a mistake (the context was in relation to buying a car that turned out to be bit of a lemon) and I felt myself tense up. Was this really a mistake??? I mean this person made a calculated decision to buy this vehicle. Just because they didn't like the outcome does not mean it was a mistake right? Could they just absolve themselves of responsibility by claiming something was a mistake so easily.
I had defined mistake as something like this:
I was painting several rooms in my house last week (same color just different sheens), and I thought I had opened Paint A and had inadvertently opened Paint B and painted about half the room with it before I realized my error. I then though to myself that I had actually done something that classifies as a mistake. But it's not that simple.
Merriam-Webster defines mistake, when used as a noun as:
1 : a wrong judgment : MISUNDERSTANDING
2 : a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment, inadequate knowledge, or inattention
Faulty judgment - hmmmm - that seems like a mistake can actually be more than just ticking the wrong box - an accident. But a misunderstanding...not so much. So is the decision to have an A - to answer that flirty text, to linger in conversation a bit too long with someone you find attractive, to put your hands down their pants...is that a mistake, or a bad decision or bad choice, or some combination of all of them?
When looking at the definitions of the words choice (the act of choosing: SELECTION or the power of choosing: OPTION) and decision (the act or process of deciding) I wasn't so sure. But I think part of my problem with the word mistake comes in that lessening of responsibility that seems to come with the use of that word because of its primary cohort - misunderstanding. That indicates something other than selecting - using the power of choice to do something bad.
So maybe I can give mistake a pass - perhaps the better way to frame it in my mind is the difference in accountability. When my WH now says "I should never have done that. It was a mistake" I know the context in which it comes - I know what he means even if his word usage isn't the best. In all honesty back then I knew he used the word mistake in the colloquial sense - an error in judgment not misunderstanding. He was never claiming he thought his AP was me and then "ooops" she wasn't. He was, maybe even subconsciously, lessening his personal responsibility because he did not want to face it. Softening the blow (to himself). But I'm as guilty as the next person for using the word mistake when I really mean bad choice.
Sheesh I should not have had that 4th cocktail last night - that was a mistake. :)
10 comments posted: Tuesday, March 28th, 2023