Had a crossroads moment, and finally ventured on to the harder path. Helping Nikki deal with his issues and history is making me take hard looks at my own. Some can't be conquered, but they can be mitigated. Or at the very least, it can be said 'that was NOT okay'.
My parents are divorced, they have been since I was very young, around 4. I don't think either were very happy in the marriage, but it ended because my father cheated on my mother. And who outed him? Me. Yes, he was so interested in getting laid with his mistress (who was formerly a student in his high school history class, I'm told by those old enough to remember they all think the affair started after her graduation, but I can't say that as fact, I really don't remember) that instead of waiting til days when he had free time that didn't include watching me, he took me to her parents house (where she still lived) and left me alone in a strange house while he vanished with her. It was frightening and confusing for little me, and I have never liked unfamiliar places since. And of course it came out when my mom asked me what Daddy and I did that day. I don't remember if I was instructed to lie or not. The only parts of the story that were strong enough to impact on my young memory were being left alone in the strange place (stupid with a 3/4 year old in a house that isn't childproofed anymore) and nearly drowning in the pool because Dad wanted Leslie to lounge with him, and I do remember she thought she should be in the pool with me and that I was too young and they had a fight about it. She was also the one that realized there was a problem and pulled me out when I had lost my grip on the floaty device Dad has given me.
So flash forward to my teen years, and Dad and my stepmother both constantly explaining to me that the whole thing was my mothers fault, because she wouldn't go out drinking with him on weekends or the camping trips every weekend in the summer so Dad and his friends could photograph trains. Um...they were parents. Who both worked full time, and I already spent 40 hours a week with mom's parents or dad's grandparents (they alternated). And I was pressured into agreeing with this Mom should have done whatever Dad wanted for the marriage and it was her fault he cheated on her indoctrination. I never really agreed with it, but it never went well for me pushing back with Dad and stepmom. And Dad is a big one for expecting people to face the consequences of their actions, until it comes time for him to do it, nothing is ever his fault.
So today I wrote out on Facebook where he will see it that it's never okay to cheat. I didn't direct it at just him, I've hard this story multiple times from multiple cheaters, but its' really clear I don't believe any of them, including him. I thought about protecting it so he couldn't see it, but no. I'm done, and if my stepmom gets involved again with another e-mail I will enter the fight full on, but I have no real need to attack them, but they do have a clear understanding now that I do not and never did believe and am done with the bullshit. They can choose to save face, and drop it for good (yes, they still reinforce the partyline 40 years after the fact, it's creepy I know).
So why did I write it out ant leave it public if I'm not actually looking for a fight? Because I'm looking to work on me, and stop condoning things that really aren't okay, and to withdraw my previous complicity. People always implied these moments feel good, and they really don't, they just feel kinda raw and vulnerable and I know unpleasant things are coming as SEVERAL of the people who fed me the spouse blame bullshit can see it, but I'm done. Man up, woman up, agender up, whatever is appropriate and either fix or end the committed relationships and THEN seek out new ones. It's not that freaking hard. I've hard so many excuses, kids, financial, partners are fragile, but none of them is an appropriate reason to harm their families. And I really don't know anyone who grew up with parents who did that who aren't harmed by it in some way, myself included. I have yet to meet one who says "it had no impact on my understanding of commitment, honor, responsibility, and personal feelings about and in my family".
Meh. Untwisting my past is hard. So thanks for the trust issues you started there Dad, but I don't really want them and am trying to work them out of myself as much as I can. Where we started is clearly not where we have to end up, or a board like this wouldn't even exist, let alone welcome me. But I did open the can of worms, and now all I can do is watch them wriggle out and hope they have the sense to take the oppurtunity to go back to the dirt where they belong instead of trying to live in my head anymore.