Nathalie Daisy McGregory Washington Washington

Nathalie was a girl from the church my husband attended as a child and we continued to attend as a married couple. She was one of the girls in the Youth Group, and I have met her briefly at some point during the time my husband and I were dating. She was a hairstylist and occasionally she cut his hair. My mother in law, got her hair cut and colored by her, and they became friendly during that time. My husband and I were married in the summer of 2003. A couple of years into our marriage, we decided to start a family and had a beautiful son. Unfortunately, during my high stress pregnancy and especially after having our son, I developed a severe case of postpartum depression. Out marriage suffered. We both worked hard to keep our family together. I was so involved in getting myself better for my family’s sake that I failed to see any of the typical, probably very obvious, signs of my husband’s affair. In spite of my good intuitive sense and above the average intelligence, I

Nathalie was a girl from the church my husband attended as a child and we continued to attend as a married couple. She was one of the girls in the Youth Group, and I have met her briefly at some point during the time my husband and I were dating. She was a hairstylist and occasionally she cut his hair. My mother in law, got her hair cut and colored by her, and they became friendly during that time. My husband and I were married in the summer of 2003. A couple of years into our marriage, we decided to start a family and had a beautiful son. Unfortunately, during my high stress pregnancy and especially after having our son, I developed a severe case of postpartum depression. Out marriage suffered. We both worked hard to keep our family together. I was so involved in getting myself better for my family’s sake that I failed to see any of the typical, probably very obvious, signs of my husband’s affair. In spite of my good intuitive sense and above the average intelligence, I am ashamed to say that over the course of two years I lived under the idea that we were getting better as a couple and family. In fact, I was getting better, while my husband was getting better at spending time away from me, with this heartless, cold, manipulative, selfish woman. || During a trip to Arizona, in March of 2011 my intuition finally awakened as I felt an awkwardness in our alone moments, this time together I have so carefully planned for us. He was distant like never before. A few days after we got home, he left the house and left his phone behind. I did something I have never done before. I picked up his phone, without any conscious intentions, and started browsing through his text messages. What I have found left numb, frozen, unable to process or understand what was really going on. || Hundreds of explicit texts and pornographic self images of Nathalie. I read through them and slowly I came to understand that this, indeed, was happening to me. My husband was having an affair with her. As I dug deeper, I have found that this affair was not a spur of the moment, unplanned one but one that was carefully plotted over a period of two years. || My husband admitted to the affair and immediately made the decision to never see her again. Later that week we made the decision to try to work things out. We gave ourselves a three year period to slowly rebuild our relationship. He enrolled into therapy and we slowly began making progress. I am happy to report that even though it had been a long, treacherous road, with many bumps and falls, we have managed to come to the other side. Things are getting better as we are rebuilding the trust we lost. I guess, what I mostly want to say is that I am proud of myself for not allowing this selfish, heartless woman, destroy my family. I am not a victim of her distorted, twisted and evil ways. I am a woman that stood up for herself and her family and made a way to move forward by working hard to heal and restore our bond making something beautiful out of something that could have ended up as one more casualty of a sad statistic. || This is a personal journal entry from April, 2011. Infidelity hurts. And it hurts more than just one person. We, as women, should all posses enough self respect and decency to understand and respect the boundaries of someone else’s marriage and family. || ‘The morning was steep. Like every morning, sitting on the edge of my bed, felt like sitting on the edge of a canyon, feet dangling above a vast, emptiness of unimaginable depths. || Fear exploded in my head the minute my being entered a state of consciousness. Guilt rushed over my body like millions of gallons of salty water tossed by the ocean over a shore, in the midst of a storm. I regretted everything. Every detail of my life; from the food choices I made the day before, to the emails I wrote, the things I said, the feelings I felt. In some sort of weird way, it was a regurgitation of thoughts, feelings, emotions. Like a bad fall that does not hurt until hours later when deep purple bruising appears to mark the area of impact. Anticipation of a new day seemed a frail concept that I dearly wished for, but I never could grasp. My dawns were resting under the shadow of the lingering aftermath of a previous day. My body never felt rested, my mind never renewed, caught up in a cycle of perpetual despair, interrupted only by short episodes of sleep, a place frequented by ghosts. My body felt weak, my thoughts untamed. || I managed to move, after a little while, pushed by unseen hands, lifted by impalpable loving arms, super natural powers- forces gathered from the deepest crevices of human spirit, came to my rescue. || At night, my mangled body fell on the bed, broken, numb as I struggled to keep my mind out of the dark places it has sunken into all throughout the day. The white sheets on my mattress, wrinkled and cold, received my body, sympathetic and nonjudgmental. The darkness laid placid over my room, like cigarette smoke on the walls, intense, dark, bitter, lingering, as I prayed for sleep. The air was thick with self-condemnation, disappointment and disgrace. My past was a stain on my conscious, my present a fight for survival and my future was bleak. || I spent the night in a state of semi consciousness, negotiating dawn; not asleep, nor awake. || The clock never rushed, and I didn’t move. My body subdued by exhaustion, I laid on my back, eyes closed, and tried to imagine the old, massive cherry trees in my grandpa’s yard.’

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