Monday, March 29, 2010

Catharsis ~ Part 1

Some posts from Jessica have given me the courage to share some difficult stories with you. There are two instances in particular that stand out in my mind as life changing. While both were terrible experiences, I learned something important from both of them, even if it took me a while to get to that point.

I debated sharing this story with you. It is something that very few people know about me. It was something that I avoided discussing for some time because I felt like it might reveal some kind of flaw in myself or my own judgment. However, the more that time passes, the more I realize that there is no way that I could have predicted or prevented the series of events. . .

D and I were so happy together. He and I had known each other for the better part of our lives and had shared so many things together. He had proposed with a beautiful ring and a poem about strings. . . the strings attached to his heart. It was all very romantic. I was also honored to wear his grandmother's engagement ring. There were two engagement rings from D on my finger. We were happy to share the news with our families, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
We had just found the most adorable house in Roland Park and planned to write an offer for it. Things were looking bright for our future together.

D and I had a fantastic time at our ballroom dance class. I kept thinking to myself how good we are getting at the waltz and that we truly moved so well as a couple. I'm envisioning us being the envy of all of the other couples at charity events. . .

D is sick. He told me that he is feeling so badly that he isn't going in to work. He does not sound terrible, but I noticed something strange in his voice. I sent him lots of well wishes and was close to taking chicken soup to his house.

I couldn't get in touch with D all day. His phone went straight to voice mail and no one answered at home or work. I was hoping that he was resting at home and getting over what ever little stomach bug had caught him. Little did I know what had really "caught him."

A friend, J, and I talked about plans for the evening and I mentioned to her that I couldn't get in touch with D. I asked if she would try to locate him since her boyfriend lived just around the corner from D and that if she could and he was feeling up to it, that we could do something later that evening.

J did make contact with D. The conversation went a little bit like this. . .

J: Hi D, what are you doing?
D: I'm at the Mt. Washington Tavern with my WIFE.
J: C'mon D, don't be silly! What are you doing? Do you and Bethany want to do something later?
D: No, seriously, J, I'm with my wife.
J: Oh, with Bethany?
D: No.

Two minutes later J gets a text message from D with the hand of a female wearing a ring.

He really was with his wife, and it wasn't me.

I couldn't believe it, but the hand and ring didn't lie. D's mother and I got along and I was in such disbelief that I called her. Probably not my finest moment, but I attribute my actions to being in shock. Talk about shock. . . His mother had no idea that her only son was now married to the woman she had described with colorful language. She told me that it had to be a mistake and that she would get to the bottom of it. Ten minutes later, we spoke again and she confirmed what I already knew was true. He had gotten married to another woman at 3:50 p.m. at the Baltimore County Courthouse without the knowledge of his parents, closest friends, and, oh that's right, his fiancee.

It was something out of a book or movie. These things never happen in real life. It was one of the rainiest nights I can remember. One of the most vivid images from that night is the rain streaming down the windows. I just sat by the windows and watched the rain; in disbelief about what had just happened.

I cried. A lot. I kept replaying the events in my mind and wondered what had happened. I doubted myself.

A week later, I went to return his grandmother's ring to her in person. We both cried. She is a lovely woman and I truly miss her and his entire family. It was a real sense of loss for me. His mother and I still exchange Christmas cards and I think of his family often.

But as a friend told me, I "dodged a bullet."

Once I asked a friend Holly if she thought that people could change and she sent me a quote from Maya Angelou. Later, my friend Sandy posted the same quote.

Maya Angelou: "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them."

D showed me and his friends who he really was. He chose to get married in secret at a courthouse just before it closed. He chose to ignore my phone calls. He decided not to share whatever was happening in his life with me. Whatever the circumstances were, he showed a lack of character in his actions and behaved like a sneaky coward. I forgive D for what he did even though I don't understand it; but I cannot ever forget it.

Life constantly moves forward and it is important to learn through every life experience, no matter how easy or difficult it may be.

It feels good to write my story. It's a very healing, cleansing feeling.

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Main Entry: ca·thar·sis
Pronunciation: \kə-ˈthär-səs\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural ca·thar·ses \-ˌsēz\
Etymology: New Latin, from Greek katharsis, from kathairein to cleanse, purge, from katharos
Date: circa 1775
1 : purgation
2 a : purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art b : a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
3 : elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression



  1. Thank you for sharing your story and I really can't take any of the credit.

    My posts are pieces of chapters from my memoir of my privileged childhood... how on earth can I publish a book if I can't publish honest writing on my blog?

    You have all not become a just sounding board, but as we discussed last night, we have developed a rich and strong bond that is lovely and special... Doesn't it feel good to share?

    I am proud of you and I thank you for sharing such a painful time in your life.

    XOXO J.

    Ps. Hoping that N is feeling better and that her getting sick was just some weird fluke!

  2. I'm proud of you for posting this, what a difficult thing. In the end, it had to have worked out as God had planned!

  3. God's greatest gifts are sometimes not giving us what we want. You were CLEARLY too good for this man. Thank goodness you dodged this bullet indeed

  4. No flaw in you! You were too good for him!

  5. You know what? We all have crazy things that help us grow! I had a similar experience with a guy who I thought was perfectly normal, and then he turned out to be a closic alcoholic who hid it from me. Thank Goodness I saw his true colors!

    Thank you for sharing your story, Bethany! You are a wonderful person! Wendy

  6. My heart aches for you, but yes, as you say you "dodged" a bullet. You are a good person and I know it took strength for you to post this. Thank you for sharing your story, not for us, but for you!

  7. OMG! That is insane! Did you ever find out why he ran off to marry someone else?

    I had a few of these kind of events in my 20's...tho they were already married when they met me and I had no idea! I was flypaper for married men between 1996 and 1999! So annoying when the truth comes out.

  8. Bethany, thank you for sharing your story. You are a wonderful lady and way too good for him.

  9. XOXOX Thanks for sharing your story as hard as it may be. I know how cleansing it feels to tell a story, I've had to do the same. It's true that you've now seen the true colors and have dodged a bullet- for that you can always be grateful.

    You are a beautiful person and deserve the best in life. He didn't deserve you, and I think God thought so too. :)

    Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love. -Jane Austen

    XOXO- Vy

  10. We all have stories to tell and anyone that says they don't is lying. Thank you for sharing this. You are so strong and brave and all things truly happen for a reason. Think of how different your life could have been.

  11. Thank you for sharing a difficult story with us. You did "dodge a bullet" but at the time I'm sure it felt like anything but that.

    You have every right to hold you head up high on this one. For us decent people in the world it is hard to imagine why someone would do that to another.

    Amazing isn't it how time heals our perspective.

  12. Hey Darlin' - First and foremost remember that you never have to worry about telling us anything you need to. As Molly said - everyone has a story of some kind. I am so glad you shared this with us. Rejection is God's Protection. Period. So, you are blessed!

    Any event in our lives that finds us "rising above it" and "surviving it" serves to make us stronger and more confident that we can handle the curves and turns thrown at us on the road of life. Hugs to you! xoxo

  13. So very proud of you for having the courage to open yourself to the world like that. You are stronger than you think. Just look at the amazing life you have now and thank God, even for the troubled times.

  14. Oh My God! Bethany. He sure showed you who he was. Saying it out loud, sharing it with the world=you are free of that demon. Welcome back. We love you!

  15. This had to be so hard to post, but thank you for sharing it. What courage that must have taken! At the time I am sure it was difficult, but it has all worked out just as should. You are very blessed and we are blessed to know you!

  16. You're tagged! Because I like your blog so much, head on over to my blog, I tagged you for something. :)

    And thank you for sharing your post today. Aren't you glad you got that off your chest?

  17. Yes, I've only read about stuff like this...never thought it actually happens! I'm so sorry for your pain and although you do not mention how long ago this was, I hope you have healed. I agree with everyone's kind words.

  18. I agree with PoshMomma. So many times, when I look back, I've been so thankful that I haven't ended up where I thought I wanted to be.

    I'm so sorry to hear that you went through such a painful experience. There definitely was a better way for this guy to handle the situation. Even if he had screwed up, you deserved the truth from him.

    I do hope you know that your readers would never think you had bad judgemet as a result of your sharing this. One of the greatest gifts that comes with love, is trust. That includes not second guessing the person we love. It means believing in them. If they choose to betray that trust it is no reflection on us. the Maya A. quote!

  19. That was so courageous of you- you are my new role model! As an 18 year old girl, this story means so much to be and reminded me that as women, we have to remain strong. I can only imagine how much better you feel now that you have let out the pain. You go girl! Have a fabulous Monday- you are awesome! xoxo

  20. What courage it took for you to share this story! Thank you. My dear YOU are not flawed!!! Life gives us lessons, and we are to learn from them, and grow. You're blessed to have good friends to help you through such a tragic time. I've learned through lessons of my own that Maya's quote is true. Unfortunately, sometimes it has taken hind site to realize it.

  21. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I love that MA qoute--it is so true.

  22. "D" must stand for DISASTER. I don't know him, but can virtually guarantee he is making his wife's life an absolute misery. It's who he is and what he knows.

    I hope your catharsis is liberating and leaves you exhilarated.

    Maya Angelou again: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

  23. I am copying Brendan by adding that D could also stand for Disappointing and Devastating and Disgusting.

  24. You are a strong woman Betheny... Opening up is cathartic, isn't it?!?! Many of my dear college friends know my story. There were about 12 of us on the beach and it was the September after I had finally left my ex-husband. It was a true cry fest for all of us, but I felt so good after sharing. Perhaps soon I can share with all of you too.

    Thanks for being my friend!

  25. You know that I have always been a huge fan of yours. You are so beautiful inside and out, and this post is just another example of your grace and class. You have followed your heart and have a beautiful family, and we are so grateful that you share that with us! Big hugs XOXXO

  26. You are courageous to write this post! I may not know you but I feel terible you had to go through that. I agree you "dodged a bullet".You do deserve the best!

  27. Big hugs to you for sharing this story, Bethany! This man clearly did not deserve you, and thankfully you're free of him. Hope it felt great to get it off your chest! XOXO

    Lyrics to some country song "one of God's greatest gifts - unanswered prayers". It's not MA, but the logic works! :-)

  28. What a horrible ordeal, and I can only imagine the heartbreak and betrayal you felt when this happened. You truly are an amazing woman who is extremely strong and beautiful inside and out. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and looking back you can thank God that you did not spend a lifetime with such a man. Big hugs!

  29. What a weiner! And, how could this story possibly paint anyone but him in a poor light? Pshaw Bethany, Maya is sooo right. And, you are sooo lucky...XXOO

  30. It takes a lot of courage to share a story like this and I admire you for doing so. What doesn't break us makes us stronger and this has obviously made you a stronger person.

    You definitely dodged a bullet! Thank you for sharing.

    XOX Sue



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