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beyond understanding
wednesday, january 5, 2005

at least, beyond my understanding.

i need to back up. when saxy and i first met, he was a smoker. it bothered me, but it was his choice. i never demanded he quit. i never even asked him to quit. if he wanted to, that would be his choice, not mine. granted, the idea of him dying from lung cancer or something wasn't something i ever wanted to face, but, still, it had to be his choice. but the first time he ever came over, before we married, i did tell him to smoke outside - that i didn't allow smoking in the house because i'm an asthmatic and cigarette smoke can be a trigger. i also explained to him that asthma is very serious, it can even kill if it gets bad enough.

so, this past weekend i found out he was smoking again. i found a cigarette laying on our closet floor near his coat. i asked him about it. he lied to me until i showed him the cigarette. now, i absolutely despise being lied to. it's one of the hardest things for me to get over. i understand he didn't want to let me down, i understand the move has been a bigger stress for him than for me, but the smoking itself is his choice. i wouldn't be happy, but it's HIS choice to do that to himself. i could get over that easily.

but the lying. that was a tough one. i started to question my trust in him, that he's been completely truthful with me.

still, we've been through so much that i figured, okay, i can get beyond this. obviously i'll now have to deal with moments where i wonder about him being truthful - something i've not had to deal with before with him - but it'll all eventually work itself out. there are worse things he could do.

and did.

last night i went into our bedroom and smelled . . . smoke.

he was smoking in our house. knowing i have asthma. knowing i now know about him actually smoking. knowing that the rule has always been that you smoke outside because it could hurt or kill me. and knowing that i've been having A LOT of trouble breathing since the move.

i know this will be hard for a lot of people to understand. my reaction to this will seem extreme. but, as i've mentioned before, you just can't appreciate the pure, simple act of breathing unless you have difficulty doing so. since the move, i've had nearly daily reminders of this, and my husband has been present most of the time. i'm having attacks at least once, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. how can he smoke in the house under those circumstances? how can he do something that can trigger or make an attack worse?

my husband risked my health, my life, for a cigarette. it's unfathomable to me to risk the health and/or life of someone you love. yes, i've confronted him about it. his response? he didn't think about it.

he didn't think about it? he didn't think about it!? how can he not think about it? this has been discussed. the risks to me have been discussed. the rules were laid down to protect my health, not to make his smoking an uncomfortable experience.

i feel like i'm overreacting. then i realize it's my health we're talking about here and wonder if i really am overreacting. i don't know how to respond to this. it's not something i've ever imagined having to go through with anyone. an affair (and have been with a previous boyfriend), maybe. lying, yes (been there, done that, people lie, it's a fact of life, even if i do despise it). but having someone who is supposed to love me, supposed to protect me, and care about my well being put me at risk like this? it's just beyond anything i ever thought i'd go through. yes, you could argue an affair puts the other partner at risk too, but it's . . . not the same.

i've lost something with him that i can't even describe. and i don't know if i can get it back. i feel . . . betrayed. this has cut that deep. i've lost some of that sense safety i've had with him, that i feel i should have with him - that knowing he'd never hurt me (again, yes, we've said some hurtful things to each other when we've fought, but, again, it's not the same - this is just so different, so beyond anything i'd ever expect to experience that i can't even describe it well). and i don't know if i can get that feeling of being safe with him back.

it's probably a good thing i didn't get called in to sub today, even though i got ready just in case someone did call. i wear my emotions on my sleeve and i just don't know how i would get through a day at work right now. i've been crying on and off since last night. i can barely talk to him. it hurts that he didn't even think about the risks to me. that he didn't even consider going outside now that i know about him smoking again. it's not like he'd be revealing anything i didn't know by going outside.

he's apologized, but it's just not enough right now. i usually bounce back from our disagreements so quickly, it makes his head spin. that's not going to happen this time. i can't even look at him the same way.

and i really don't know what to do about that. i just don't.

word of the moment: susurrant

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