THE ONE THING… ‘I Wish I’d Never Kept Secret…’

What’s the worst secret you’ve kept? Do you have one? Capsule reader Kim tells us she kept a secret for around eight years – and it’s now her biggest regret.

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Capsule reader Kim says she has just one real regret in life – it’s something that happened almost 10 years ago, and was something she kept secret until two years ago. Now, she wishes she’d never kept it secret.

Kim agreed to keep a secret from one of her best friends – and it ended up coming back to haunt her.

The pair had been friends forever – Kim was one of the first people Lisa called when she found out she was pregnant.

“We’d both been trying for a few years and were both about to go through the IVF route,” says Kim. “She called saying she knew it would be bittersweet for me, and in some ways, it was, but I was already booked in for IVF and had faith my children would find me one day soon, so I mostly felt huge joy for her.”

Lisa went on to have a dream pregnancy, but, after her baby was born, Kim quite quickly felt that something was amiss.

“Lisa asked me to come visit her at Birthcare – she was in the thick of those day three baby blues,” says Kim. “She cried and cried, which I knew was normal. But, another three weeks went by and she felt exactly the same. She either felt overwhelmed with emotion, detached from her baby, completely anxious or completely numb. I ended up taking her to see her doctor and get on meds for postnatal depression.”

But a few days later, Lisa was admitted to hospital for a week to get on top of her severe case of postnatal depression.

That’s when Kim made a decision – she was at a point in her life where she could really help out. She worked five days a week, but on shorter hours, from 10am to 4pm and felt she could help Kim and her husband and their new infant.

“My husband was just leaving to go away – he was going to be overseas for six weeks for work and it wasn’t a situation where I could join him,” she says. “When he got back, we were going to start IVF. Which we did and we now have two beautiful kids.”

So, Kim offered to move into their spare room to help out when they needed. Lisa, and her husband Geoff said yes and so Kim expected to spend a few nights a week at their house. She ended up staying there fulltime for the six weeks.

“Geoff had a new client, so was busy with work,” says Kim. “And it was a while until Lisa was back on her feet again. She did a mixture of breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, so she’d either pump or I’d make a formula bottle for the baby and get up in the night and feed them.”

Kim says the first month was the hardest for Lisa. “I came over the day before she came back from the hospital,” she says. “Geoff had to go back to work then – he couldn’t take any more leave. I made sure Kim got as much sleep and rest as she could overnight and then I’d check on her when I was at work. My mum even went over a few times to check on her. We ended up swapping bedrooms the second week, because Geoff went away for work. I slept in the master bedroom with the baby – there was a lot more room than in the spare room with the bassinet, like I’d been sleeping.”

The night after Geoff got home, he had a client dinner. Kim says they talked about how they would keep the sleeping arrangements the same that night and Kim would stay in the master bedroom.

Kim says Lisa went to bed at 9pm after pumping. Kim stayed up until the baby woke at 10.30 – she fed them a bottle of the expressed milk, cleaned up and got things ready so that in the night she could easily make a bottle, and then tiptoed into the room and went to bed.

But then, in the middle of the night she woke up – and it wasn’t because of the baby.

“Someone had got into the bed,” she says.

Things were very hazy because she was half-asleep, says Kim, but then she felt them press their body against her back and begin kissing her neck.

“I realised then that it was Geoff,” she says. “And that he was naked. I didn’t want to wake the baby, so I was trying to whisper and gently push him away saying, ‘no, it’s Kim! You’re in the wrong room.’”

But, she says Geoff obviously knew which room he was in and what was happening was no accident.

“He said, ‘it’s okay, Lisa doesn’t need to find out,’ as he started trying to undress me,” says Kim. “I slapped his hands and told him to get the hell off of me’ which must have woken the baby.”

They both got out of bed, while she asked him what the hell was wrong with him.

“Once he realised that I obviously wasn’t into it, he changed his tune,” says Kim. “He said he didn’t realise it was me, and pretty much begged me not to tell Lisa. She had postnatal depression, badly, and a newborn so yes, I figured the last thing she needed was to hear about this, so I told him I wouldn’t say anything.”

Kim says she was tempted to leave after that happened, but she didn’t want to let Lisa down.

“I had lots of conversations with my husband about it,” she says. “And we agreed I would stay. He sent Geoff a text message saying he’d heard what happened and he would give him the benefit of the doubt that it was an honest mistake but otherwise if anything happened again he might as well go and buy a wheelchair now.”

Kim says she put the incident out of her mind – something that became easier over the years that followed.

“It was a crazy, surreal six weeks, so it all felt like a dream in the end,” she says. “I rarely even thought about what happened with Geoff.”

But two years ago, everything changed.

Geoff admitted to Lisa that he had cheated – a one-night affair with a woman on a work conference. To save their marriage they went to a relationship therapist. There, Geoff came clean that it wasn’t the only time he had been unfaithful. He told her that he’d kissed a girl in a bar before they were engaged, but well into their relationship.

“And, he told her that he’d got into bed with me and we’d kissed, even though we didn’t” Kim says. “Plus, he told her that he was exhausted, forgot about the fact we’d switched rooms, but then realised when he was kissing me that he’d got the wrong room and jumped straight out of bed. His story was similar, but not the truth of what happened.”

Kim told Lisa that it happened, although she certainly didn’t kiss her husband and immediately got him out of her bed, but Kim was furious.

“She said it was a massive betrayal that I hadn’t told her, and, that it made sense that Geoff would have thought it could have been her in the bed, but what was I doing? She made it out like I had done something wrong and that he had a case of mistaken identity but that I apparently kissed him knowing it was her husband.”

Kim says it was an absolutely horrible time. She says her husband even tried to talk to Lisa – he still had the text message to Geoff, but Lisa wouldn’t listen.

“I feel so sad about it,” says Kim. “We were such good friends and our kids were so close. It hurts so much that I tried to do this kind thing for her family – and then something negative happened but I hid it from her in her darkest hour – but now it has backfired on me. She’s told our other friends about it and I’m still friends with most of them, they’ve stayed neutral, but one of our friends has sided with her. It feels like high school, but worse, because I’m an adult. I’m just so disappointed – that’s an understatement really.”

Kim says she thought time might heal the wound, but it’s been two years and her friend has still blocked her on everything.

“I send her a message on her birthday,” says Kim, “but she definitely has me blocked. Now that it’s been two years, I’ve given up on thinking our friendship has been salvageable. But, it’s felt cathartic to tell my story.”

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