I read the news of a murder/suicide in Philly this week with a sad horror. Jennair Gerardot, 47, confronted the woman who was having an affair with her husband, Meredith Chapman, 33, and shot her. Then she turned the gun on herself. Two women dead and the cake-eating bastard who enjoyed the competition of two women is still very much alive.
Like many chumps, I can imagine the dark place Jennair Geradot was in. I’d like to tell you I’m above acts of retribution and vengeance — but after I was betrayed, I certainly imagined them. Vividly. Hourly. For ages. I’d like to tell you I’m above the Pick Me Dance, that no cheating asshole is worth my dignity and self-respect — but I danced. I tried to prove my worth to a worthless person. I know exactly how desperate that feels.
I know what it is to be gaslighted — to have my reality assaulted every day. No, I was never there. I never spoke to her. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You have issues. You have to get over this. When in fact, he was there. He was fucking her. He was lying to me.
And I know what it is to snap. I never knew myself capable of violence before. I never spanked my child. I never got in a fistfight. I’m a granola-headed liberal arts major. But one day, when my cheating husband screamed at me — an inch from my face, a man who left loaded guns in the house to intimidate me, a guy twice as wide me — when that guy screamed at me, that she’s a better lay, that her tits were huge — whatever he could say to humiliate me and take me to the brink — I boxed his ears. The college self-defense class must’ve kicked in, I went straight for the ears.
He fell over. And the look of shock on his face. I’m not proud of it, but I’ve also never regretted it. That cognitive dissonance — who I am versus what I’m capable of, whether that’s abject humiliation, or acts of violence — scarred me. It’s what’s leftover from infidelity. Wow, I was insane then. That mindfuck nearly killed me.
Which is probably why I fight the infidelity mindfuck every day on this blog. Don’t you succumb to the crazy. GET OUT and go NO CONTACT and realize that absolutely no good comes from engaging with cheaters.
There are so many mindfucks to fight too. The mindfuck that divorce makes you damaged goods, that you’ll never love again, that single parenting is less than, that being single is less than. There is so much FEAR fueling the fight to keep abusive partners, fear stoked by the RIC.
I don’t condone violence or revenge. I actually think it’s very un-chump like. Most chumps hurt themselves and buy self-help books, not guns. Most chumps are the victims in these sorts of toxic triangles — the obstacle who must be snuffed out. But I understand the Dark Place after D-Day, the insanity of grief. I wish Jennair had found us and reached out. This is what I would’ve told her.
1. ) These feelings are FINITE. This overwhelming despair and anger will fade. It is FINITE. You must channel it now to escape, but you will not always feel like a raw, exposed nerve. You will not always want to cry. In fact, with enough distance and time, you will feel mortified that you ever knew the cheater, or that this psychodrama was your life.
2.) Killing yourself and killing her will NOT MATTER to your cheater. In fact, the guy is probably crafting dating profiles right now. He’ll use the tragedy of your death, and her death, to great Sad Sausage effect. Poor him. Can you heal him? Can you be the Special Someone who can compete with your ghost? He will continue to hurt women, to triangulate them, to be a narc. He was NEVER a prize. Anyone who would goad you into a competition, or eat cake at your expense, is not someone who loves you. He doesn’t love deeply, and he doesn’t grieve deeply either. Why would you kill yourself over a shallow puddle of a man?
3.) The OW never mattered to him. You weren’t special to him, but guess what, she isn’t either. If it wasn’t her, it would be someone else. And then what? Are you going to shoot every woman that slips him her business card? She was shiny and new. Shiny fades, new gets old, the discard comes. Had you left him, she would’ve led your sad, off-balance life. Wondering about the competition, never being secure in the pick me dance…
Killing her just made her a martyr. And you’ve inflicted unspeakable pain on innocent people who loved her. Who didn’t deserve this pain. You did what narcissists do, by making your pain the Only Pain That Matters, justifying the harm you do to others.
4.) The best revenge is living without him. Don’t stay locked in his centrality. Don’t let him be the last person you ever love again. He’s NOT that powerful. Do NOT worship that false god. Get out there and live a good life and invest in people who truly care for you. The Pick Me Dance cannot impress him, but you not needing shit from him? You succeeding wildly without him? THAT impresses (and infuriates) him. You’ll only see the fury (stay no contact), but it crushes his narc soul to know he doesn’t matter.
Crush his soul. Save yours.