2/11/05 (Part 13 of the HaM Love Story)

This is part thirteen of the Homey and Me Love Story. It is when my marriage to Rusty was ending – long before I met Homey, but an important part of the story, nonetheless.

It was February 11, around noon, when I sat down at the computer, mechanically, trying to hack my way into Rusty’s email. I wasn’t sure why I was doing it. I prayed to make sure that it wasn’t a mistake for me to get in his email without his consent. I knew that it could be a major betrayal of trust, but the Spirit reminded me, He is not to be trusted, and you know this. So…I found myself at the computer, trying a few passwords.

None of them were working.

I noticed the prompt forget your password? Even though I hadn’t forgotten it, I knew it was my best chance of figuring out how to get into the account. I was asked a security question: What is your favorite sports team? I knew Rusty well enough to attempt to answer this question. I also knew that Rusty loved sports. There were so many options. I tried them. Jazz, Utah Jazz, The Utah Jazz, St. Louis Cardinals, Cardinals, The Cardinals, Saint Louis Cardinals, Chicago Bears, The Bears, The Chicago Bears, The Eagles, and on, and on, and on. I wasn’t coming up with anything. After a few minutes of unsuccessfully guessing, Panda came into the room begging for lunch. I decided to give up the email quest. I figured, It isn’t meant to be. I was both disappointed and relieved. However, as I left, I didn’t turn off the computer. I figured I’d do that after feeding the kids.

After making sandwiches, eating, and cleaning up, I felt myself drawn, again, to the office room where the computer sat. I knew it was on and waiting for me. I told myself I’d just go up, turn it off, and then pray again for comfort and strength. I knew that everything would be okay.

When I went up to the computer, it was as if I was on “auto-pilot.” I sat down at the computer and just started typing: F-l-y-e-r-s. And BAM! Just like that – I was in.

I was so relieved to find the email inbox empty – except for a note from an guy in Utah – that Rusty had a landscaping business with. Yet, my “auto-pilot” was still on, and instead of logging off of the computer, I was checking the sent mail.

Then my heart began to sink. There were dozens. No hundreds of emails from Rusty to other women. I only saw subject lines…but they were bad enough. I clicked on one that said Thinking of You.

And I read that filthy, vile email.

The email was a note reminiscing on a time when he had been back to Utah, for His grandfather’s funeral, and he had met with a woman at a hotel. They had various sexual exploits. I was disgusted. I knew it was true. It was all over. I read the email once, then I called my dear friend, Blythe, and read her every word of the ex-ex-ex rated email. I think she choked. Then I said to her, I have to let you go.

I called Rusty. He was working with my step-dad. Again, I asked him, “What’s going on with you and Jezebel?”
“Nothing, Catania. I promise.”
“No, really. What’s going on with you and Jezebel?”
“Catania, is this because of the p*rnography you found the other day?”
“Rusty. I know. I have read your emails. I know that you cheated on me with Jezebel.”
Barely audible, Rusty stated, “It’s true.”

I hung up the phone and felt like I would vomit. Instead, I just collapsed. As I fell down to the ground, I kind of…cackled/choked. It wasn’t just a cry. It was despair. Even though my life had been hanging heavy for weeks, it finally took that last crash. I was finally beginning to jolt into awareness.

I remember that moment – lying on the ground, truly pounding it with my fists like a two year old having a tantrum. It was also nearly an out-of-body experience. Another part of me seemed to hover above myself – very aware of how crazy this was. Catania, you are crying, I thought to myself.

My mom came upstairs, and I don’t remember what I told her, but she now knew. I was still feeling like two people. Catania 1 was lying on the ground, crying in the ugliest way. Catania 2 was hovering above, shocked and embarrassed for Catania 1 – telling her hey, you’re crying! This is weird! This is exactly how it would happen in a movie! You’re acting like a two-year old! Catania 1 kept crying on the floor, shaking, holding back vomit while Catania 2 hovered and thought, this seems a little over-the-top…faker and then replayed the fall that Catania 1 had done upon reading the email over and over and over again.

I looked up at my mom and saw Tiger and Panda standing beneath her, anxious.
“Why are you crying, Mama?” Tiger asked, worried.
“It’s okay, let’s go and watch a movie, okay?” I knew that I wasn’t convincing, but I also knew that she would happily watch a movie.
My mom took the girls downstairs and started a video.

Instead of going downstairs, I called my Bishop on his cell phone.
“Hello? Yes?”
“Hi. This is Catania from your ward.”
“Um. I’m calling because I know that you have an appointment to meet with my husband tomorrow, but I’m beginning to think that you’ll have to meet with me, too.”
“I just found out that Rusty has been having an affair.”
I heard him pause and take a gulp.
“Look. I’m at a conference for work right now, but I’ll call you back. I’ll pray for you. And you pray, too.” He then paused and said, “Catania, pray — Right now you are in your own personal gethsemane.”
I nodded my head, unable to say anything because of the sobs and tears steraming down my face.
“k.” I finally muttered.
I hung up the phone, and collapsed again – this time on the bed – internalizing what the Bishop had said. I knew it was true. I was going to experience my own kind of “gethsemane” – I knew that I was about to live through more pain than I ever thought possible.

I sat on the bed, crying for a while, but a nervous energy began to consume me. I called Blythe, I called Freckles, I called Spunky. I called Red. I called the Princess Club. I called friends from Utah. I called friends in PA. I wrote an email to Jezebel and read through all of Rusty’s emails. I wrote emails to a few other women that I suspected Rusty had slept with.

Rusty came home, and we went upstairs to talk things through. I called his parents, his siblings, and his best friend. No matter how hard I tried to embarrass him, he didn’t flinch. Repeating the story – even in the most shocking way to other people – didn’t make me feel Rusty and worse or me any better. I was still sobbing. And Rusty stared at me as if he was wondering when this episode would end.

I asked Rusty all of the evidentiary questions…who(too many to tell, really), what (sex, in any and every way you can think), where (in my home, in Moab, in cars, in their homes, in tents, and…well you get the idea), why (he didn’t know…maybe he had a tough time acclimating to married life), when (september 1998, two months after we were married, after work, that day in the canyon, at the depeche mode concert, while I was at Young Women’s, while he was studying, when he went to the “library”, etc), and how (easy- he lied to me, to himself, and to everyone again, again, and again.)

After a few hours of questioning, we came downstairs. I was disgusted. Some of my mom’s friends (Vito and Gigi) were at my house. They were apprised of the situation. Vito acted like a father to me. He said that he wanted to break Rusty’s neck. (Which made me smile). When my mom said that Rusty was not welcome in our house, Vito offered to take care of him. Vito took Rusty to a parking lot behind McDonald’s and kicked him out of his car. When Rusty asked Vito where he was going to sleep, Vito replied, “That’s not my concern.” Rusty, still confused at this sudden turn of events protested, “But I can’t just sleep in this parking lot.”
Vito responded, “Listen, buddy. You’ll be better off in this parking lot than anywhere near me.”

For the rest of the evening, I cried, cried, and cried some more. My friends cried with me. They were appalled and sick for me. I felt the strength of so many people who cared.

Before I tried to sleep, I had the thought to email a few old friends. I emailed my dear friend Garet and told him what was going on. I felt like I needed to talk to people who knew me. I also emailed Snoopy. I didn’t tell him what had happened right away. Instead, I just told him that I had run into his parents a few weeks before (I had – at a church function). They told me that he was at Law School. I asked him how life was, and I told him I was back in PA. I wished him the best. In doing so, I wished that I’d hear back from him, without knowing what he’d say or what I’d say – if I’d tell him about me and Rusty. Writing my friends kept me busy for a little while. Then it was back to the reality of the moment.

Throughout the night, I sat on the guest bed, expecting a phone call from Rusty. I expected a phone call of sorrow and remorse. I wanted a phone call where he told me that he loved me, why he loved me, and that I was beautiful. I wanted him to tell me that this wasn’t true – it was a mistake. Even though so many people rallied around me; even though I felt the love, strength, and support of my ecclesiastical leaders; even though I knew that God was aware of me and had me cradled in His hands, I just wanted to curl up and cry in the arms of my husband.

Instead of a phone call from Rusty, I got a phone call from Red who listened as I gave her every painful detail. Whiles speaking to Red, I came to understand exactly the Spirit was trying to teach me about Galatians 5:1 (at that time). I needed to stand fast in the Liberty wherewith Christ had made me free. As long as I was yoked to Rusty, through marriage, I would be yoked to the mire of his sins. I wasn’t completely ready to call it quits on my marriage, but I had a strong feeling that I needed to use all of the energy I had left to get as far away from it as I possibly could. I was getting the idea that if I didn’t, I’d find myself stuck in the mud, miserable, forever.

After my conversation with Red, I stopped calling friends (it was the middle of the night!). Catania 2, my rational side, hovered above me and watched as Catania 1 took off her wedding ring, took some Ibuprofen, wrote in her journal, and cried some more. Morning could not come soon enough.

Click here for part 14.


7 thoughts on “2/11/05 (Part 13 of the HaM Love Story)

  1. Kara

    You have a wonderful way of sucking me right into your story. I was able to feel (to a small degree) what you were writing. I look forward to the next!

  2. Helene Mathee

    Wow. Another breathtaking episode. I was convinced that I had left my marriage in the past but the last two episodes just reopened things I would rather forget. My ex watched pornography while I was in the room. I remember one Friday afternoon. I was making my return to full Church activity and doing intense scripture study. I was busy with James E Talmage’s book, “Jesus the Christ”. Trying to immerse myself in studying about the life of Jesus and praying intensely to shut myself off from the sound on the TV. All the while praying that God would strike him dead. Needless to say God doesn’t heed to every whim of our prayers. I tried to make it work. I tried for nearly 10 years. I felt like a whore for 10 years as I had to re-enact our sex life to what he thought sex should be like according to his many porn tapes. Church wasn’t easy. I disagreed with know-it-all sisters who talked about the sacredness of intimacy in the marriage and that sex is meant for marriage. When sex in my marriage made me feel dirty and used. I couldn’t relate to the “good” sisters in the Relief Society. My branch president was a missionary couple from America. His wife had told him of the conversations in Relief Society. He called and wanted to meet with my husband. I knew my husband would throw a fit and begged him not to come. I was refused church callings because my husband had to consent to it. I knew he wouldn’t so I didn’t have a calling. None the less I still went to church week after week. He was convinced that I had an affair with my home teachers and my visiting teachers brought me secret messages from my home teacher “lovers”. I lost my friends. Didn’t invite anyone over and became a recluse. Couldn’t write in my journal as he would read everything in it and accuse me of things I never did. Once I realized he was having an affair. Numerous people came to me and told me they had seen him with a woman from work. He denied it but I went to her home with my sister in law. Her parents were there and I asked that they sat in. I explained my concern. I told her that I didn’t come to fight for him. That he wasn’t worth it but I needed to know and have clarity. She denied it and brought her boyfriend to me a few days later as proof. I didn’t believe her. My mother in law and husband both told me off for confronting her over nothing. Someone from my past came back from England and ran into me at work. He wanted me to go back with him and as much as I wanted to, I knew my husband would tell everybody that I am exactly what he told them I was. So I stayed with my daughter. But Brendan (the guy from my past) didn’t leave. He came back the day after he was suppose to leave and begged me to reconsider. That night my husband raped me while I was sleeping. I remember having this really bad dream and waking up seeing my husband roll over and turning his back on me. I could still feel the burning pain between my legs and feeling almost paralyzed from the waist down. I reached down and I was wet. When I looked at my hand it was full of blood. He had taken an object penetrated me with it. The object was lying on the bed. I could still see traces of lubrication on it. My husband pretended to be asleep and I got up and sat outside silently crying. It was four in the morning. I wanted to call Brendan take my daughter and leave but I didn’t want to burden him with my baggage. All Brendan knew was that I wasn’t happy. When I told my mother-in-law the next day she said my husband couldn’t rape me because I was legally obligated to have sex with him any way he wanted it. I felt sick. Brendan left without knowing and I filed for divorce. Divorce took me 7 months to finalize. And I walked out with my daughter and our clothes. I wanted nothing that reminded me of him. It’s been 6 years.

    Thank you for telling your story. This is more healing for us. Thank you for what you do.



    1. Thank you for sharing your experience. My heart absolutely aches for you. And even though I’ve gone through some hard things, I haven’t had to deal with so many of the difficulties that so many women must experience. All I can say is that the atonement is real. I know that it heals us.

      I’m so grateful that you were able to escape that precarious situation. I know that you still have to deal with many of the effects of such a horrible experience. I hope that your daughter is okay, too.

      Thanks again for sharing. One thing that I’ve found amazing is to see how many women have to go through so many difficult things. Often, we seem to think we are alone in this kind of suffering, but as we tell our stories, we begin to see how we really can have sympathy and even empathy for each other.

      I always think to myself that I hope that I will be able to help others because of my trials. It is horrible that people have to go through this, but I think of it like cancer, if we can survive it, we become better, stronger people.

      Thanks, as always, helene.

  3. Ann

    I relate. Boy, do I relate. When I clicked on “Forgot my password” I happened to know the answer to the “Mothers maiden name” and there it all was. Affair after affair. I wish I had taken the time to reply to the various women. I wish I had informed all of them- but I only had the time to reply to one before he came. I also asked him, “How’s Jennifer?” He played dumb. And then I mentioned all of the others. Then he started yelling at me for snooping in his buisness. I also expected regret, sorrow, shame on his part- Just like when I discovered the pornography and he begged me to stay and told me I was beautiful and it wasn’t ME, it was him. But the response was nothing like that. He just got angry. He got mean. He rationalized, denied, and excused his horrible, vile acts. We visited with the bishop. He said the bishop and I were making a bigger deal out of it then it really was.

    I wept when I read the part about your phone call to your bishop. When he told you to pray and that you were going through your own Gethsemane- I burst into tears. I felt it so deeply. It sounds like you had a very inspired and loving bishop. I remember the overwhelming feelings I had- the physical reaction to such excruciating heartbreak. I had moments when I couldn’t pick myself off the floor. I lay there in a puddle of tears and drool. He’d step over me. Heartless. Oh, my insides were sick- vomiting, diarrhea. It was awful. Shaking…my teeth were chattering and I couldn’t stop. Your writing brought back the emotions so strongly. I know those feelings. However, I kept them to myself and told nobody at first. I only spoke with the bishop- and eventually one of my visiting teachers. She became my angel on earth. She helped me in more ways than I can ever repay or thank her for.

    Helene- my heart aches for you and the abuse you suffered. I was also treated very violently (sexually) towards the end of my marriage (once I discovered the affairs) and nobody should ever have to experience such inhumane abuse. I really hope he has had to pay for his crimes against you. My ex has walked free from his crimes- but I know there will be justice some day. We can trust in the Lord. He loves us so much.

    1. Ann,
      Thanks for sharing your difficult story. I know that I was lucky. In my situation, with my ex-husband, it was truly about sex for him. I’m grateful that I never had to experience other kinds of abuse. I don’t know why this is. I just know that I’m grateful because so many women have to deal with men who are vengeful and mean.

      I’m also grateful that you, despite such abuse, have been able to find strength and solace in the Lord. It is difficult to do, but truly the only way to lasting healing.

      Thanks again for sharing.

      1. Nsw

        You know what?
        As I’m reading all the comments, I sit back and try and think to myself if this is real? Does this happen?
        I’m not saying it’s not,
        But I soooo can’t believe it, I’m shock that your husbands at the time would treat you like that, I know they will be judge one day.
        I am very grateful to read these stories, it’s like I know you all..my heart is with you all..my heart was dying as I was reading.
        But I’m grateful for your examples.
        The strength to carry on, the strength to write it down, the strength to be a women.
        Thank you all ladies.
        Your truly in my heart.
        All the way in nsw Australia.

  4. Pingback: The Longest Week (Part 12 of the HaM Love Story) | That Good Part

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