On that Saturday she had a surge like sense of foreboding fear that she had neither before or since experienced. The following Tuesday the diagnosis came dropping into her life; a thud of her guts hitting the floor….it had been what they thought was just a routine appointment to follow up after surgery to remove his appendix…..She was yet to know that the big C would come to represent the Catalyst that saved her.
Post diagnosis he started to be so much more open about his life choices and behaviours. Some had been masked for years. It was slowly revealed to her with this new gung-ho attitude how he had been deceiving her for many years. A chameleon who adapted his manner to whoever he was with at the time. She remembers one conversation where she commented how he used work stress as an out to justify his behaviour when at home; and he used home stress as an out to justify his behaviour when at work……..fobbing the one part of his life off with the other so as to avoid taking ownership or responsibility for his own actions. What a way to live life. Suddenly after the diagnoses the attitude of “who cares anymore; I could be dead soon” developed with blatant teenage-type behaviours. She became aware that he was signed up to a dating agency. To this day she doesn’t think he acted on it, but it was something that he somehow got signed up with, possibly connected to some advertising when scrolling the porn sites. Yes, there was much use of those sites. As she became more aware, the porn site use appeared to be at addiction level. It also seemed to be a soother and comforter when rage surged. This was during years of seldom any sex between them. She had been available and keen.
Some other revelations over this time: the blame that was laid on her when he was out with mates. Talking like he hated her. Not telling her when his friends included her to join him at a social event, just going by himself, or not going at all. The lies, oh the lies. SO many lies. Covering up something like cigarette smoking by siphoning money out of grocery shopping and getting cash out. Hiding that by “I lost the receipt”. Putting less petrol into the car so cash available to buy fags. Then if she noticed gas level lower than expected, more lies to cover up ….”the petrol gauge is faulty”. Final confronting led to admission of deceiving her like that for 13 years. THIRTEEN YEARS.
There had been lies throughout their marriage…….Losing his Work phone and assuring her he had alerted his Boss. Weeks later he had to come clean because a thousand dollar bill had to be paid……whoever found the phone had been merrily phoning international family daily courtesy of the Company……it all had to be paid for by them……a classic “head in the sand” approach……if he had confessed the phone loss immediately the Company would have cancelled the plan……finder would not have be able to use it…………………. Purchasing porn by credit card online; watching her confusion when statement came in with unknown American codes; sitting with her while she compiled a letter to the Bank challenging the transactions. Sitting back while she liaised with the Bank Fraud office, listening to her state categorically that it was not purchases made by them, letting the Bank reimburse them in full. Years later she joined those dots. Sigh. These are just a sprinkling of examples. There are many she has not been made aware of she is sure as well. Surrendering to the awakening. Nothing left to hide behind. Surprise !
Where was any common sense/ awareness from her through all these years ? She was busy with parenting their two incredible children. She was incredibly naive. She was journeying through the years taking for granted that trust was a given.
Cancer can surprise. It exposes any lie in your life whatsoever. Cancer can surrender you towards being a better human being. Stripping away all of the walls and the barriers. Becoming the catalyst that saves you.
Trust is not a given. (and Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing).
And to those of you reading this who I have offended by my seemingly heartless blow at a cancer sufferer……….
Posting this is my attempt for a final purging of the toxic bile that was remaining between them after the awakening……..they are moving on together (albeit clumsily,awkwardly) with greater enlightenment into each others souls post diagnosis. Hence the surrendering surprise from a Cancer diagnosis.