One of the interesting things about recovery, is that I remember many things word for word, sometimes even dates, while the whole thing is a big, icky blur to AJ.

He remembers the big stuff. He knows he betrayed me, he knows he screwed around with someone who was not his wife, and he kinda remembers being a bit mean to me once in a while. Actually, I think he remembers more now than right afterward, but still it isn't that much.

If I ask a specific question, sometimes he can answer it right then, and sometimes he has to think for a day or two. There are a few things he hasn't even remembered after thinking about it, but small stuff that I don't stress about. For example, "On this date and time when you went this place and told me this, did you actually go alone like you said?" And because he has been honest about the big stuff, and done his best to answer questions about the little stuff, it makes it easier to trust him on the other little stuff.

And sometimes something will come up in a conversation that reminds him of a snippet he had forgotten about until that moment, which is what happened this morning.

For anyone who didn't already see over on Mom's thread, I saw Gargamel in town yesterday. I have not wanted to underestimate her and assume she doesn't know what my car looks like, though I really didn't think she had paid too much attention. After the little talk AJ & I had this morning, it is obvious that I was mistaken, so I am glad I have been trying to be more aware of the cars around me.

This morning I told AJ I had seen her.

***Note: this is another big difference between Failed Recovery #1 and So-Far-So-Good Recovery #2. The first time, I did everything I could to prevent him from knowing the times she tried to email him, or when she contacted me, though I expected him to tell me everything. I wanted to protect him from being tempted back. The second time, I received some good advice that I have never regretted taking, and I have told him every time there has been contact. He doesn't want to see for himself when she emails me, but just takes my word for it if she does something spiteful. It keeps things so much more open between us when I am not hiding anything from him for any reason, no matter how noble a reason it might be.***

So anyway, I told him. Usually he does not want to know any more than I tell him, but this time he asked where I saw her. (He was very nervously working up in that end of the county yesterday, thankful that he was with his boss and in his boss' truck. Another digression, but the wages of sin are hard to pay, especially when you have repented and the consequences still invade every aspect of your daily life, and the lives of your loved ones, as well. It's so much better to do the right thing in the first place!) I told him where, and not much other detail than that part of the time she was ahead of me, and part of the time I was ahead of her, and then she turned off.

I told him I didn't think she paid too much attention to my car, and that even if she did, that since I barely know what she looks like, that she probably wouldn't recognize me, either.

"She knows what you look like, though."

That made me just a little nervous. I asked how that could be, since I had only seen her twice. It has been almost a year since my one and only glimpse of her face, and at the motel she kept her head turned and I never got a good look. Even that was a long time ago, late March.

He had to think about it, but said that there were quite a few times where she told him that she had seen me in town, and where I had been. (If she was hoping to catch me meeting with another man, she was sadly mistaken.)

As he thought about it, it didn't take long for the implications to sink in, that she must have followed me around any number of times. (He would probably have realized it when she first told him - he's not stupid - but oh wait, he wasn't thinking of me at all then.) It gives me major shudders to think of her stalking me around town, skulking in the aisles, perhaps even standing next to me in line, memorizing all of my features, and all while I innocently went about my business, unaware. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

But still, we learn three very important lessons from all this. One I elaborated on above, that full honesty goes both ways.

Two, you might have picked up on from reading about honesty, that your WS genuinely may not remember some things about the A. At first, I flat-out believed AJ was lying to me when he said he didn't remember, and it took lots of time, and verifying everything I could, before I even mentally gave him the benefit of the doubt. It would have harmed our R greatly if I had just insisted I thought he was a liar, so I kept silent and just checked and checked and checked, without him knowing everything I was checking. As I saw a pattern of truthfulness emerging, it helped with the few things I wasn't able to tell for sure.

And three, don't underestimate the OP. Don't obsess about them either, like I'm trying really hard not to do after finding that out, but don't underestimate them. Don't think they are the nice people they seem to be, or think you can trust them. DEFINITELY don't have anything to do with them, unless there is an overwhelming reason (such as OC) to do so. Don't hate them, and God asks us to pray for our enemies, but recognize that it is deadly poison to allow them any place in your life here on earth.

And if you keep bumping into them until you can't take it any more, MOVE TO MONTANA!!!!!!

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb

Neak's Story