adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, Christianity, deceit, divorce, loss

Update on ‘Stealing and Giving Back’

The story of my daughter’s friend, the 14-year old fundraising to help pay the $6000 it is going cost for her to travel and compete in a European golf championship this year, was reported on the local news last night. The estimated $160 she raised selling lemonade and samosas was stolen.

The theft was caught on video surveillance cameras at the market where she was selling.  Two men came by and asked why she was raising money.  She told them.  They left and didn’t purchase anything.  Then you see them walk back together and one man grabs the money jar off her table and runs off.  Cindy’s father tries to run after them and lunges to grab the man but he falls hard onto the cement, flat on his face.  My daughter had told me that he had to go to the hospital by ambulance to be checked out but that he was okay.  It was very upsetting for my daughter to watch that part on the news. Then the news reporter announces that one of the investigating officers gave Cindy $160 out of his own pocket to help her.   The officer requested not to be identified and didn’t want any public recognition for his generosity.

The kindness effect ignites.  My daughter told me that at school today Cindy was called down to the office several times and returned each time with money that people had dropped off to support her trip.  The news crew had come to her school the day they were reporting the story to interview her about what happened, why she was raising money, her golf goals, etc. and they videoed her in the gym swinging a golf club with the school identified on the gymnasium wall. My daughter also told me that because her full name was disclosed on the news people were contacting her home asking if they could drop off money for her.

The surveillance showed clearly the identity of the two men. If the thieves knew they were being watched on surveillance would they have attempted to steal? The chances of them getting caught and shamed publicly, potentially losing their jobs if they work, is a real possibility. Some people just do things that are dishonest if they think they can get away with it.  Would the video camera give them pause to weigh out the consequences?

What if people who were lusting after coworkers thought they were being recorded so that their spouses, kids, parents, business associates,  community, etc., could watch?  Would that lower the incidents of affairs in the workplace or anywhere else cheaters meet?  If cheaters knew cameras were present filming what they try to cover up, would the fear of being exposed halt their deceitful thoughts and actions?  Nobody chooses shame and humiliation, the loss of their families and reputation and other fall outs they can’t even foresee. That is why they sneak around, lie, hide and live double lives. They don’t want to get caught.

Some people have no remorse and make excuses to justify their actions regardless.  We don’t have to control or change how those people think.  This story teaches that despite the lousy situations that we may find ourselves in because of the greediness, selfishness, carelessness, and hatred of others that the universe does work everything out so that what was taken comes back as even more than what was lost and it can happen very quickly.

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Bible, Christianity, Christmas, divorce, faith, God, infidelity, Janice Andrews, Love, lying, marriage, promises, Spirituality

The Ghosts of Christmas

The Ghost of Christmas Past:

Spent my 4th Christmas post-affair. I honestly don’t look back and long for the Christmas’ with my ex. We always had great celebrations whether it was commuting to the three sets of parents’ homes all in different cities and sometimes my birth father’s side of the family as well or whether it was just the 4 of us after our move to British Columbia. All good memories (except our last Christmas together when my ex was already involved with Janice and ignored me at his company Xmas party and over-drank and was obnoxious at my sister’s place during our family celebration and then was rude and impatient with me the next morning).

The Ghost of Christmas Present:

This was the first year my ex purchased a gift for the girls to give to Janice. He gave it to my younger daughter to bring home and wrap. I have no idea what it was–something from The Body Shop I think based on one of the bags she left at our front entrance. When she told me she had to wrap a gift for Janice I asked if her dad bought her paper. No, she was expected to use my wrapping paper. No idea what paper she chose or what it looked it–bows, ribbons, tag, etc. I wonder if Janice really opened it up and thought how nice that the girls shopped for her and chose something for her. Something as special as soap. Guess it is Dave’s way to pretend it is a family Xmas where everyone exchanges gifts and niceties out of love for each other.

The girls and I had a very fun Christmas Eve. I gave them their traditional Xmas pajamas gift to open and they immediately put them on. We took selfies on my bed with all the pets and stayed up very late.

Christmas morning was relaxed and fun. I went on a walk with the dog in the afternoon and we went to our friends’ farm for dinner.  Our friends said that it made their Christmas table much more lively having us there. We played a game afterwards with presents and came home with a new disco snowman and a disco tree decoration.

The Ghost of Christmas Future:

As I celebrated the birth of Christ, I was visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future. It came in the form of scripture.

I was reminded that for me to know Jesus requires that I share in his sufferings (Romans 8:17). Betrayal was the biggest part of his suffering and now I know what it feels like to be betrayed by the one who knew me the best and who I loved the most and who should have loved me back the most in this world.

NIV Galatians 6:17 “Let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” That is a warning for Janice and Dave. For me Jesus says in NIV John 16:33: “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus tells me though to take heart because he overcame the world and I will, too!  In this same scripture Jesus says to have peace despite the trouble because I am not alone; God is always with me.

I may have suffered the loss of my marriage due to an affair because of evil, greedy, lustful and selfish people but Isaiah 61:1 -7 lists all the promises I can claim because God “love(s) justice; (and he) hate(s) robbery and iniquity.” Janice robbed me of my husband. She took what wasn’t hers to take. Like a thief, she will always know she obtained what she has dishonestly at great cost to others and at a loss to her reputation, trust and integrity.  It is a lie and will be a constant reminder for herself and others of who she is at the core of her being. She shouldn’t be sad when the next thief steals it from her especially because she puts it on display; it never belonged to her in the first place. The same holds true for Dave. What a waste of time and effort and money trying to hold on to something that is just a lie and false security.

Regardless of my husband’s broken promises, God promises to me in this scripture that he will always be faithful and will reward me with his everlasting covenant that no one can steal from me.   Jesus is in me and will lead me where he wants me to go. I trust that! My husband left me, Jesus did not.

I know there will be battles in my future but I will get up and get in the ring and fight to knock Satan out so I can claim my victory! God works everything out for the good of those who love him (NIV Romans 8:28).

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Bible, cheating, children, Christianity, divorce, ex spouse, faith, God, infidelity, Janice Andrews, other woman, sin

Is the Honeymoon Over?

I like the idea of Dave and Janice being together for the rest of their lives and having to live with the consequences of choosing their new path. I know they will be repaid accordingly in life for the hurt, damage and selfishness they chose instead of doing right but I don’t need to know how that destiny unfolds.

I would not want to be Janice and be held accountable to God for what he brought together and she chose to tear apart. Dave carries an even higher onus of responsibility. As a Christian, baptized as an adult, choosing to live for Christ, he knows the scripture promises. He should be shivering, as even Satan trembles at the mention of God, but instead lives in arrogance and debauchery denying God, his word, his children, his faith and his responsibilities.

So I have to say I was a little disappointed when my younger daughter happily proclaimed to my eldest daughter, when she came home for Canadian Thanksgiving in October, that she hadn’t seen Janice since my older daughter left for university in the summer. My oldest daughter said that Janice was coming to dinner with their dad and them over the weekend but she didn’t show up. The kids discussed that Janice and Dave went to Vegas for her 50th birthday in September and talked about how they went to a Cirque du Soleil show (unimaginative gift since he took me for my 40th and took me to a Cirque du Soleil show, too)but they were speculating whether or not the relationship had hit the end of the road.

When my youngest daughter told me that Janice was in the vehicle when we saw them coming off the ferry in November my youngest daughter told my oldest daughter. When he wasn’t bringing her to see my daughter dance I then wondered to myself if maybe the trip to Vancouver was last minute and a way to try and rekindle something or simply Dave using her for company so he didn’t have to be alone or maybe another girl bailed. My experience with him when we dated was that he would pick fights and use that as an excuse to go out with other women and probably did that in our marriage as well now that I have hindsight. I suspect this leopard shows off his same spots and that Janice will fail to acknowledge the truth of Mr. Duplicity at least until her guaranteed destruction can’t be ignored.

It was only yesterday that my youngest daughter came home and announced her lucky streak was over. Janice came with them to lunch (actually at a new burger place right around the corner from my yoga studio where my daughter pointed out my car to them in the parking lot as they drove by and it is a place that I frequent and almost went for lunch yesterday as well).

So I smile as the two of them deservingly are still together. I would never want them to miss out on everything that is still to come.

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adultery, Christianity, divorce, infidelity, renting, separation, the other woman

Lifting my Anchor Again

One overwhelming and very stressful situation that pushed my need to take the purposeful break from all aspects of my life involved another move.

While I was in the midst of my melanoma surgeries and still no indication the outcome would be the best case scenario possible, my landlord gave me notice that they were taking over my suite for personal use.

The housing situation in Victoria is crazy.  There is a shortage of inventory.  Overseas buyers are snapping up whatever they can and there has been a frenzy of home owners placing their home on the market to cash in on the ridiculous prices that home owners are receiving for their properties.   My realtor is so busy.  She told me she lists a home, has one open house the first weekend and then accepts all offers Monday morning. People aren’t even doing home inspections or placing any conditions on their offers.  My realtor has been getting anywhere from 14 to 21 offers at once on a property.  People are paying well over the asking price to make sure they win the bid.

As a result, the vacancy rate for rentals in Victoria is 0%. People are selling their homes to take advantage of the market and then renting hoping the market will either slow and they can buy back in or they are continuing to rent and just investing their money elsewhere.

I spent the 2 months after I received notice trying to find whatever I could as a place to rent.  As a result of the rental demand not only have prices increased but landlords can be way more picky with tenants.  I am not the ideal tenant as I have a dog, 2 cats (pets posed a problem for me even before the market change), 2 kids and no employment income.

Again, I had to rethink whether I could even stay in Victoria.  If I were alone, I would definitely not still be here but my reasoning for staying the next 4 years is that I didn’t want to move my youngest daughter away from her dad, sister, friends and dance studio. Therefore, to find a place to live I was looking well out of the school catchment for my youngest daughter prepared to commute unreasonable distances just to keep her life as stable as possible.  I had a hard talk with both my girls about options we needed to explore including them living with their dad at least temporarily until we found a place, placing the pets in foster homes and moving back to Ontario.  Even my kids were trying to come up with ideas suggesting they would talk to their dad about him moving in with Janice and then us taking over his place and that Janice could have pets at her place so she could take them temporarily.  They suggested staying on the island but moving up north 1 1/2 hours. In the end, they said, “Mom, we don’t care where we live but we want to stay the 3 of us together and the pets have to be with us.”

I investigated every referral from friends, searched online 4 or 5 times/day, placed my own advertisement, told anyone I met I was looking for a place, looked at places to camp and to stay over the summer for the interim and even planned out ways to exist as a homeless family. I tried to see if I could buy something even a trailer. I asked the landlord if we could stay at least a month longer and I tried to fight the eviction as well through the BC Tenancy Act dispute process to buy us more time.  God was being clear; I needed to move on yet again.

Through a lot of prayer and perseverance, I found a place to move to 6 days before my eviction date. I found the ad on my 4th try that day on UsedVictoria.  My daughter suggested I change my search to include smoking properties. I thought that would limit my search but it actually opened up this one property that didn’t care if we smoked or not in their unit.  I knew from losing other places that I had to be aggressive. I called the new potential landlord, sent an email and although the ad was placed with no address, just the street name, I tried to drive by and find it from the photos as I planned to knock on the door to speak to the landlord. I couldn’t find it by driving by as I only had photos of the back of the house. When they called back they said it was too late for me to come by that night (I still asked). They were showing it at 10 the next morning. I asked if I could come at 9.  I came with an application filled out, a letter about me, a page of referral names and numbers and a cheque to fill out for damage deposits and first month’s rent. They actually were planning on renting it July 1 but I said I would take it for June 1 as it was vacant and I didn’t care about any of the work they planned to do to get it ready.  My dog was almost a deal breaker but I pleaded and asked if I could bring him by to meet them.  I went and got the dog immediately and while I did that they called some of my references.  We must have won them over because they accepted us.

$1300 in moving expenses and a lot of exhausting help from friends packing and moving boxes and hard-to-pack items over in advance confirmed again that I don’t want to keep going through this process.  I have been getting rid of more and more stuff again as I am now renting less space for more money. More confirmation that the universe is telling me to lighten my load significantly.  I better start abiding or I suspect I will be forced again to move and to get out of my comfort zone and lose more possessions. I am being prepared for something I am certain that is going to involve me leaving everything behind.

Right now, my youngest daughter and I are sharing a room.  My older daughter is sleeping in what we call “the Harry Potter closet” as her tiny room doesn’t even have a window.  My kids have never complained once about our new living environment.  In fact my older daughter is the one to always say things like, “I lived in a dorm last year sharing a room and having less so this is no big deal,” or “we need to just be grateful we got a place”.

I am very grateful every day.  I came back from the break refreshed, refocused and with a renewed energy and purpose.  I have a lot to do and I am doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, Christianity, divorce, faith, God, melanoma, separatiion, Spirituality, the other woman

A Spreading Cancer and a beautiful Crater

I met with the doctor on Friday afternoon, last week.  She was held up in the operating room at the hospital so she was late getting back to her office. There were two patients for her to see before me so it was close to 3:30 when I finally got to meet with her.

The melanoma in my right arm has spread beyond the 5 mm perimeter on one side.  Therefore, I require more surgery. My doctor wanted me to come in on Sunday.  I told her I was leaving in the morning for March break. I was leaving with a girlfriend and her two daughters along with my daughter for a road trip. We had reservations at the Running Y Ranch Resort in Klamath Falls, Oregon for Saturday.  We booked to stay for the week (an amazing deal of only $150/week for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo) but we planned on leaving Thursday to go to Portland as our girls are in a dance competition.  It would be a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from Victoria to Port Angeles and then another 10 hour drive to our destination so I really couldn’t delay the trip for 2 days without disappointing 4 other people.

We discussed the risks of waiting.  My doctor said if it was a basal cell carcinoma she would say it was okay to wait but she reminded me we are dealing with melanoma and “ideally” it should come out today.  She said there were two benefits of waiting.  Firstly, the scar on my arm is very tight.  The longer it has to heal the more chance there is skin for her to pull back over my wound.  She also said waiting until I get back would give her time to try and see if she could order a small batch of skin bond glue.  It is very expensive and I will have to pay for it.  She said she would see if she could order just enough for my procedure.  It will cost about $50.

So I made the decision to carry on with my trip. I booked my surgery for the first available appointment my doctor had after Easter which is the end of March break.

I do not regret my decision, at this point anyway. We are having an amazing time.  The resort was beautiful.  We made a lot of use out of the huge pool that we had to ourselves a lot of the time.  We enjoyed the Shriner circus, shopped, explored the lava beds in California, the Wildlife Refuge, climbed mountains, descended into caves, went on self-guided nature walks, visited Petroglyphs and learned a lot about the Madoc and Klamath Indian battles with the white settlers.

The highlight was being able to experience the awe of Crater Lake. We had wanted to go early in the week but due to snow storms there was no visibility even if we could make the drive up there.  We were able to view the webcams around the lake from our resort lobby. There was no visibility. It was fogged in.  The road was completely snow packed. The road had been closed the entire time we were in Klamath Falls but we heard that you could snow shoe from the Visitor Station to the rim in about 30 minutes. We decided to chance it on our way back towards Portland. It was a clear, sunny and warm day. It turns out that the road reopened just two hours before we arrived so we were able to drive up to the rim.

It was a very spiritual experience for me. The half million years it took for Mount Mazama to form.  Then the battle that was brewing inside it until it’s final eruption 7,700 years ago. So violent was that eruption that the foundation cracked in a complete circle and the entire mountain collapsed in destruction. When all that was left was the empty, scarred caldera it became filled with melted snow to form the deepest lake in the United States and possibly the purest source of water in the world. It was a real reminder to me of how the most difficult and traumatic experiences in our life that completely leave us depleted can be filled with everything good and pure and turn our lives into the most beautiful, unimaginable creations.

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, children, Christianity, divorce, God, infidelity, moving on, other woman, separatiion, single parent, unfaithfulness

Waiting

I feel like my life is on hold.

I have a cancer diagnosis hanging over my head.  My stitches were removed yesterday but the pathology report remains outstanding.  My doctor is watching for the results and promised to call me directly.

Even though the stitches are out the area will take a year to heal.  The doctor explained that there is a lot of repairing still to take place inside. The outside skin is very weak and the wound can reopen so there are still limitations in what I am able to do with my arm.

I usually start my run clinic at this time of year preparing for races.  This is the first time in 6 years I haven’t joined Sole Sisters.  When Dave and I initially separated he said he would pick up our daughter on Tuesday nights so I could continue to run with my group.  That was only because it worked for his schedule.  Now that it doesn’t, I am picking up my daughter from dance on clinic night.   I was going to join a different group on a different day or try training on my own or with a friend who used to coach running but with my 2 surgeries and diagnosis it seemed like a waste of money until I know if I will have to have further testing and treatment.

My ex is still fighting me on so many issues.  We are waiting for his compliance on the court orders before returning to court on outstanding issues and new ones. He did pay me the support arrears and court cost amount but he has several other orders with actions to complete and information to provide. As usual, the information he did provide is incomplete or insufficient so my lawyer has had to write to his lawyer again making further requests.

I am only staying in Victoria at this time because of my children.  I have tried for the last 3 years, in the midst of the destruction of our family and finances, to do what I could to keep the daily lives of my children stable. I don’t want to take our younger daughter away from her dad, her friends or her dance studio but we have talked about moving.  She said she would move if we could go to Florida.  I asked why and she said it was warm and she liked all the places we have stayed there. Both of her grandparents go there for the winter months and one of my best friends lives there. I told her that it is too difficult to get into the States to reside.  She suggested we move up island but I told her that I didn’t really see the benefit.  She wants us to have a house and our own space. Housing costs are less up island but I told her that if she was going to move hours away from her dad and friends the reality is that she wouldn’t get to see them very often.  We may as well go where we would really like to go or have a reason to go. She said she would move anywhere if her best friend and her mom came with us.  I said that all of their family is here and her best friend’s mom has a career so that was very unlikely to happen.  She mentioned one other dance friend and her mom who is my friend (even though there is a dad and 3 other siblings) that she said she would like to have move with us.

My older daughter has been staying with me during her Reading Week break from university. I talked about the possibility of moving with my older daughter as well.  She agreed that it made more sense for us to move to Vancouver or back to Ontario where more options exist for all of us and where we have family.  I told her that I don’t want to move away from her and that my thinking at this point is to wait until she is finished university (3 more years anyways) and for her sister to finish high school (4 more years). We also talked about the pets. As sad as it is to think about it, the reality is that our 12 year old dog would not have to be considered in a move 4 years from now. Flying for him, seven years ago, was so stressful that I wouldn’t put him through that again.

The three of us talked about a four year plan.  We discussed making the most of the next 4 years here by visiting places that are more easily accessible living on the west coast.  We talked about going to Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. We have already driven down the west coast to San Diego but there are some interior places that I would still like to visit in California.

At this point, there is no clear cross road in my path. If it was only about me, I would be gone.  So in the middle of waiting, I am going to try to live with a 4 year plan to help me prepare for next steps. I am going to register my younger daughter at two high school because she is currently undecided which direction she should follow. I am going to get divorced with an enforceable court ruling on payments owed by Dave and do whatever I can do to get him out of my life.  I am going to focus on my health. I am going to liquidate as much of my belongings as possible. I am going to try to rebuild my finances. I am going to plan trips.

Jeremiah 29:11 has always been one of my favourite scriptures and is impressed in my brain.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” So within my 4 year plan, I know God has a plan. It is probably the other way around. Within God’s plan, I am going to focus on my plan for me and my girls and he will handle the rest. I honestly believe it is all for my good. So, I wait.

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, Cancer, cheating, children, Christianity, divorce, ex spouse, family, infidelity, melanoma

Cancer

Sometime in 2012, when I was under the illusion that I was happily married, I noticed a dark mark on my right upper arm.  At first I thought it was my vaccination mark.  Then I realized that my vaccination is on my left arm and that it looked the same as always.  This was something new.

That summer I went to my doctor’s office to have it checked.  My doctor was on vacation so I consulted the locum taking her place.  She examined the mark but felt that it was nothing and suggested that I just watch it for changes.

Fast forward 3 1/2 years now that my life has finally settled enough for me to consider my own health.  I went to my doctor for my first physical since my separation.  I showed my doctor the mark and she was concerned.  She said she was sure it was a basal cell carcinoma, the best kind of skin cancer to have, but that it needed to be removed. She referred me to a specialist.

The specialist had a different concern.  She looked at the cells through a special microscope and said that she didn’t like what she was seeing.  She was surprised at how large the mark was and said that it was too big for her to remove without leaving terrible scarring.  She was going on holidays at the end of the week but wanted it biopsied before she left. She asked her nurse to book time for me, even if it meant she had to stay late one night because we needed to see what we were dealing with as quickly as possible.

She cut out an elliptical cross-section of the mark.  She sewed the skin back up with dissolving stitches in the under layers and nylon stitches on top.  I returned 2 weeks later to have the top stitches removed but the pathology report still wasn’t in.  She said she was going to follow up directly with the lab to get the report.

Tonight I received a call from the specialist from her home after hours.  The pathology report confirms that I have the aggressive and most dangerous skin cancer, melanoma.  I have to call her office tomorrow to make an appointment to go back in next week to determine the next steps.

Melanoma is the least common of skin cancers but it causes the most deaths.  If it is not treated early enough it can spread through the blood stream to other parts of the body making it difficult to treat.  I feel like close to 4 years of this growth on my body is not early intervention.

I am disappointed with myself for not following my gut that this was something that needed to be removed when I first found it.  I am also being compassionate with myself though.  It is very fresh in my mind the last 3 years of hell that have been my reality. Especially because many aspects of that daily battle still exist. When I reflect back on what I was dealing with emotionally and the tasks that I had to perform physically and mentally, all by myself, just surviving each day was a victory in itself.  The worry and stress I carried for me and my children and the responsibilities that were now solely dumped on me along with the impact of the consequences of my husband bailing on his family buried me. It is no wonder that my own physical well-being fell so low on the priority list.

So as I read an email that Dave just sent addressed to “Robo McBlobo” I am reminded that I have strength of character, perseverance, faith, hope and trust in a greater purpose that will allow me to deal with whatever this cancer has in store for me.

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