Secondhand Trauma

A very close friend of mine was cheated on by her long term boyfriend last year. I have made a few cryptic posts all over my social media accounts because it was her story to tell so I was waiting for her. She spent almost a year recovering from this trauma. I think she spent the first six months sitting in shock. This was supposed to be her good guy. Her happily ever after guy that fought through her walls that she put up after the last train wreck. This girl has been through the ringer for sure. She has always been a rockstar, but this womans battles put mine to shame.

This last month she has been much more vocal about it now that she is working on the recovery. She has told her parents and siblings finally, giving herself a support system that is bigger then just her and I. I watched this woman rebuild shattered pieces while hiding the truth from everyone near her. She knew that she was going to stay with him. She knew that her family and other friends would annihilate him and pressure her to leave him. She for whatever reason has chosen to stay and is full-heartedly leaning on me to help her get through it anyway.

There have been a lot of things that I have done in life that I classify as hard, but this is getting added to the top of the list. Seeing as I am not in that relationship, I have zero feelings to get tangled up in. Well that’s wrong too isn’t it. I stood up at their wedding for them. I was there the night that she met him, it was me that drove her home from the school dance that was their first kiss and it was me that helped her get through the traumatic start to their relationship. He has grown on me over the years and their babies are some of the best joys in my life. So I am emotionally involved. There has never been a question as to who’s side I will always be on however. I would still be beside her even is she was the one that cheated, lied and broke him to a million pieces like he did to her. So I do have to take that into account.

The sex, love and happy feelings for him keep her in that relationship, but it doesn’t keep me. I am resentful of him, for breaking my rock. I am bitter and making comments under my breath constantly and am now getting worried that my feelings will come between us all now. He wasn’t there to see her having to rebuild because she did it in private. She told me that he cheated because of his own self esteem issues and she couldn’t hammer down on him without being scared he would break more.

So her whole damn world IMPLODES on her, but she has to hold back so his doesn’t?

She makes excuses not to go to therapy, thinking that she can handle it on her own. She writes him letters and burns them because I told her that was what I did to get over the death of my ex boyfriend. She now even writes to herself but I can only imagine she is tearing herself apart in those to explain how he could do that to her. She spends a lot of time talking about the things that she could have been doing better with over the years with him. While in no way am I telling her that seems unrealistic, I am further stressing his role in this instead. He should have pushed harder for whatever change to happen between them long before he looked elsewhere. He should have explained how important those things could be before EVER looking elsewhere.

This man stepped out of his marriage. He started simple, using porn as an avenue that led to more. He had so many warning signs that he was well aware to be stepping over, still ultimately making the choice. What started as innocent enough, turned into verbal communications leading to video chats before finally meeting up in real life. The fact that he was paying for it with money that he could have been using in so many better ways bothers me. She says at least it means he wasn’t in love with her.

I think that he has himself convinced that it wasn’t so bad because he knew this way it would strictly be sexual, not emotional which he considers to be worse.

Over a year in and I don’t think that I have made it an entire day without a phone call or text from her falling apart. I can’t go a single day without hating him. Her entire world is still in shreds and she acts strong in front of her family, their children and other friends.

She hides in kitchen pantries and showers to fall apart but then hides them in a beautiful package to show to world.

When does he break down? When does he have to worry about crying or showing too much emotion to his children or family? How often is he having to lie to everyone around him about things that he had no participation in? How often is he having to lie just to keep those around him accepting of her? The little decisions that she has to consistently make to go along with his deception in mind boggling.

I watch the process play out in her head in almost every conversation with anyone around her and I get infuriated more.

The two of us have given each other a wide berth, taking turns with her time and keeping ourself distanced. He told me he understood why I have such strong opinions here but that it is not my relationship and I need to respect them enough to let them handle it.

Of course I know he makes absolute sense.

My problem is HOW TO DO THAT.

6 thoughts on “Secondhand Trauma

Add yours

  1. I’ve tried responding three times but I can’t hit on the right words. You need to maybe listen to her less, while urging her to go to therapy. Because this is going to become co dependent and neither of you will feel good. Maybe you try a few counseling sessions so you don’t feel as guilty, or you can better know how to handle the emotions you’re feeling

    Liked by 1 person

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