The first week in December, there was a change in Dick and Juanita’s normal routine.
Instead of him flying out to see her, she came to our fair city of Chicago for a visit.
They couldn’t have picked a better time for their little soiree. Ashley was going to Wisconsin for the weekend on a school field trip. On the Wednesday night before she left, Dick told Ashley that he would be in Chicago for a conference from Thursday through Sunday so he wouldn’t be home to wish her a good trip before she left.
I wondered if Ashley bought what Dick was telling her. We live only about 45 minutes north of the city and his attending an event downtown wouldn’t warrant a hotel stay. Whether she thought something was fishy or not, she never said. I, on the other hand, knew what was going on.
Dick bought Juanita a round-trip airline ticket costing close to $800. I also believed that he booked a room for the two of them at a Marriott in a suburb near O’Hare airport, but I wanted to be sure. That Friday, in the late afternoon, I telephoned the hotel and asked to be connected to Dick’s room. I was told that no one had checked in under that name. So, feigning confusion, I said, “Oh I’m so sorry, I don’t know what I’m thinking. The reservation must be under Corazone.” The desk clerk told me that they indeed had a party by that name registered and proceeded to forward my call to the room. This was like deja vu…once again my heart was racing as I placed a call to Juanita. The phone rang and rang and finally voice mail picked up. I had no intention of leaving a message. I just wanted to confirm what I suspected.
At that point, instinctively I realized my suspicion that Dick had also purchased tickets for the two of them to see the Jersey Boys on Saturday night was true. Ever since the performance came to town everyone who saw it raved about it and encouraged Dick and me to see it. I brought it up to him several times saying how much we would enjoy it but he totally ignored me. When I discovered that he and Juanita were seeing it, this affair took on a whole new meaning for me.
I felt like a knife was just stabbed into my heart, twisted back and forth and in and out until the damage was irreparable.
While Dick wasn’t aware that I knew about his little getaway, the fact that he was seeing this play with another woman was simply one of his ploys of throwing more salt on an already open and oozing wound.
As crazy as it sounds, my mentality up to that point was out of sight, out of mind. In other words, what happens on the west coast, stays on the west coast.
I think some sort of defense mechanism kicked in to protect me from all the shock I was dealing with and allowed me to go through the motions of handling the divorce as best as I could.
I knew that Dick had a relationship with another woman. I had seen Juanita’s photo in the internet. (What respectable doctor has a My Space page, uploads a sexy picture of herself and writes that she is looking to meet men in her upscale suburb???) Even after she and I had our “friendly” little phone chat, as goofy as this may seem, their relationship didn’t feel real to me until I found out about the Jersey Boys tickets.
All of a sudden, this was happening in my own backyard. It wasn’t an abstract concept anymore. I could potentially run into the two of them anywhere and come face to face with the live image of what up till that point my imagination was conjuring up .
Then the ravages of the whole situation struck me like a major earthquake severing the ground, collapsing every standing structure in its’ path and trapping innocent victims in the rubble (my kids and me being the first casualties). The magnitude of this disaster was immeasurable. It was off the Richter scale.
Why? Because Dick was in fast-forward mode. We were in the divorcing process. He was taking action to move on with his life.
In the past, he tormented me by carrying on with other women, justifying his actions to his narcissistic mind and to me as well, that he had a right to be with them because he wasn’t attracted to me, I wasn’t a good wife, I didn’t turn him on, etc., etc., etc.
To make matters worse, these broads always came across like I was the one who was interfering with their relationship even though Dick and I were the couple. But during those sporadic interludes, he never considered tearing apart our family and starting over with someone else. He always apologized and said we should work things out for the kids sake.
This time he’s raring to go and is taking the necessary steps to ensure it will happen for real.
It’s going to take a lifetime of counseling to try to heal all the emotional and mental suffering he has inflicted on me throughout our long and abusive marriage.
Until the Jersey Boys incident, I was numb. I think it was nature’s way of anesthetizing me to life and allowing me to wake up each and every morning to my own personal equivalent of daily 9/11 attacks and keep functioning in the face of complete shock and devastation.
When I confronted Juanita on the phone a short time back, I remember feeling like I was having an out-of-body experience. None of it seemed real. I went through the motions, but it couldn’t possibly be happening to me. In fact, after the fact, I often described that encounter to others saying that I could have starred in Desperate Housewives and often joked that we could be a new addition to Wisteria Lane. We would fit right in with all the drama on the show.
But this isn’t a nighttime soap opera. This is reality.
When I was a little girl and dreamed of growing up, getting married and raising a family, my vision always looked like a scene from Leave It to Beaver.
How I wound up in Psycho instead is beyond me.