I guess this is the deep end...
When you were a kid, did you ever step off the edge of the pool, and then realize a step too late that the water was about three feet deeper than you thought it was? You sink further and faster than you expected to, and when you stretch out your legs to try to put a foot on the bottom of the pool, it's still a couple feet below, out of reach.
That's pretty much what a lot of the past year has felt like.
I haven't been in a 'serious' relationship in more than five years. The last one was with a guy I still have nightmares about. (We'll call him the X.) I did NOT expect to fall in love with Karma. It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but somehow hours turned into nights, and nights turned into weeks, and weeks to months. The relationship we had before Mohegan found out we'd had an affair was full of ups and downs. The ups were how he made me feel like a person for the first time in years. The downs were when I hated myself for being the other woman, and when I resented that I loved him too much to break it off. The ups were the first nights I went without nightmares when sleeping beside a man, the first time anyone had ever been able to bring me out of a panic attack, and the point where I realized how much of an improvement it was that I could actually trust a man enough to sleep beside him. The downs were the nights I had panic attacks and couldn't call him, couldn't reach him, and didn't dare try too many times, the time the X found my number and called, the time I ran into him at a concert, and couldn't reach Karma.
I always assumed that at some point I would be cheated on. It never dawned on me that I would ever knowingly be the other woman. At times I pitied his wife, at times I resented her, but most of the time, I just tried not to think about it. He needed me, and I needed him, and I told myself that was enough.
But he was busy. He had a real life, and I couldn't be part of it. It got to the point where I barely heard from him, let alone saw him. Our mutual friend J was the only person I felt like I could talk to. I didn't realize at first that he already had strong feelings for me, and over time, I found myself feeling for him too. He was the only person at that point who was truly there for me all the time.
This is the point where I feel like I really got in over my head. It never occurred to me that I could love more than one man. I do love both of them, and it seemed like a logical course of action to try and be with both of them, and make both of them happy. Suddenly, my life became a juggling act that I just wasn't prepared for. I was caught between two men I loved, who quite simply detest each other. They used to be friends, and I've been told time and time again that they would have fought whether or not I came into the picture. But it still sucks to have been the catalyst.
J and Karma both told me quite candidly what they thought of the other, and how they thought I was being used and manipulated by the other. Accusations were flying all over the place. Now, I'm quite paranoid enough on my own, thanks. My imagination doesn't need fuel – but I found it in abundance. Things blew up, and J told Mohegan about my affair with Karma. He warned me before he did, and on some level, I guess I didn't tell him not to because I felt she had the right to know. I told him I thought he was doing the right thing, but fore ENTIRELY the wrong reasons, and I felt that it should be Karma and I who told her. Didn't get the chance. He sent it. There were all kinds of threats and snarls and accusations. The fights got worse, then kinda burned out. Things sort of settled down, but I think it was only because they were both tired of fighting, and were trying not to put me in the middle.