I felt a deep shame about what he did to me. I was humiliated. I didn’t want any of my family to know, and I didn’t reach out to any of my friends. I had been through this many times with my ex-husband, and I didn’t want anyone to know that I had failed at choosing a partner again. I should have known better, and I most certainly should know better than to stay with the no-good cheater. My heart didn’t want to let go. It didn’t want to let go of him, but it also didn’t want to let go of the pain and entitlement I felt from being victimized. I was trapped between two worlds. Shame kept me from acting. I only reacted, and pretended. I pretended everything was joyous as I watched the birth of my granddaughter hours after finding out about his “mistake”. I pretended to not be a complete chaotic mess as we held a birthday party for his son with all of my family and his judgmental, hypcritical mother in attendance a few days after that. I pretended at work and at home with the children. I did everything I could to make it through the days without having a complete breakdown. I accomplished what I had to, but many things began to slide. I lost the ability to enjoy my life. It became all about survival. Everyone suffered the consequence of my struggle.