I apologize profusely for overlooking your question. I would not under any circumstances give up on you. I am always here, and if I don't respond within a day, please feel free to drop me another note, we've been having some issues with our email system. I hope you accept my apology.
You are so right, clarity can be just as confusing as confusion because sometimes, although we may see a situation for what it is, there are no clear answers, there will always be, in many cases, shades of gray. The biggest misconception in the world is that mothers are maternal. I've seen enough and experienced enough to know that there's so much more to being a mother than having a child. I've long said that parents should be required to get a license before having a child. The world would be a much better place...not perfect, mind you, but better. We tend to forget that mothers are human, and more than that, women. For a woman to throw of the mores of society and break out of the role that was expected of her in those times took a lot of guts, and a lot of selfishness. She had a responsibility to you and should have fulfilled that responsibility as should your father. That they were both able to be so uncaring and selfish was something they have to live with, and in a sense it marked you for life.
You're ability/desire to be a high achiever with the Navy is not uncommon, for you had something to prove. That you were not a cast off, that you were not expendable. By the same token, the Navy afforded you the 'family' and 'us against the world' attitude that you likely needed to get through that time, and when it was sabotaged and taken away from you, it's not surprising you cracked. Will no one accept you and keep you? Ditto for the fiance who called off the marriage.
Somewhere along the line it occurred to you that if you couldn't have the person in the first place, if they couldn't truly be yours, right from the beginning (because they already belonged to someone else), then they couldn't truly leave you. However your first married man, in fact, did leave you, and not only that he took all you had and left you even worse off than before. Maybe he didn't care if you told his wife or pressed charges for what he did, or maybe he just knew you wouldn't. I'm not really sure what happened during that time, so I am only going on what you've told me.
Fast forward to where we are now. Still a married man, so he never could belong to you, from the start. But wait, there's a difference, he is fearful of being found out. So in a way, you can force him to stay with you, even if just for friendship, even if it means taking him down in a blaze of glory with you. Your anxiety and panic have taken a turn, and if you're going to get hurt this time, it won't be alone.
The problem is, he has this whole other life and this whole other set of responsibilities. People with families tend to have flexible schedules and many times things can change at a moments notice, especially when it comes to small children. I understand about feeling worthless and unimportant, more than you know....but you knew.....you knew before you got involved that he had a family. Yes..yes...yes....he is dead wrong for getting involved with you, he wasn't using his brain, all he could see was his attraction to you, and he disregarded what was right and did what he wanted to do. However you are both culpable in this situation. The mistress always knows that her schedule can be changed at a moments notice, she always knows there are rules and that she will be marginalized. Still you continued.
The questions are, why if you are feeling unimportant would you put yourself in a position to feel even more unimportant? You want to prove somehow that you can control this feeling or being or unimportance, but it cannot be done this way. It just can't.
As children, we depend on our parents and families to instill our importance to them, and to the world and society. School helps us socialize and build our confidences in most cases, and when it doesn't we have family to fall back on. When that is taken away from us, it can cause a lifetime of damage that can last the rest of our lives.
As adults we seek importance through our jobs and/or our relationships, but in your case the damage was already done, and the failing of your job and relationships only exacerbated the situation. I'm sure you already know this, maybe your therapist talked to you about it, or you've thought about it, but it's real and it's a part of you, but the one thing you have to remember is that it doesn't have to DEFINE you.
Don't accept the term orpXXXXX, XXXXX't embrace it. You are giving your parents too much power when you embrace that label. You are not Mary, the orphan, you are Mary the woman! Do not accept the label failure, because you excelled until selfish, jealous people interfered. You are not Mary the failure, you are Mary the woman! Do not accept the label mistress, for there is someone out there for you, that would be willing to love you the way you need to be loved, that will embrace those things you consider faults and that will want to give you the time and energy you so deserve....however, as long as you stay in this relationship with no future you will forever block the way for someone to come into your life. You are not Mary the mistress, you are Mary the woman.
As such, you are capable of doing anything you want to do. By everything we have talked about I can tell you are a highly intelligent woman, I don't doubt that if you put your mind to it, there's nothing you couldn't accomplish, but it's going to take all of the strength you possess to step out of your place of fear and put one foot in front of the other and move toward a healthier place. A place where it doesn't matter if other people accept you, because the most important acceptance comes from within Mary. If you can look in the mirror and say, 'Mary, you are a smart, beautiful, talented woman, who could do just about anything. I really love you and I will never let you down'....well, that would be a day to reckon with. That would be a day when the world better be on their toes.
The fact is, the conditions that you suffer from are very real, but they are also very tied to your emotions, and people will tell you, "you can't change how you feel", but that's not true. Studies have shown that if you speak it, so can you believe it. You don't need him, you only think you do. In fact, he's already shown you that he doesn't care enough to be what you need him to be. You need to let him go. Don't talk about friendship, because although you enjoy being with him, it's not about friendship, its about control, on his side and yours, and it's not healthy. You know this.
At this very moment, as you are reading this, you can make the decision to take back your life and make changes to be the woman you know you can be. Don't believe that it will happen overnight, of course not, but it can happen. Ask yourself, what would you like to do, what would make you happy? Is there something you always wanted to do, but just didn't think you could? Now is the time to figure out what needs to be done, and do it...step by step. If you accept Mary, and you love Mary, it's going to take time to get to know her....to get to know what she wants and what she's capable of doing, but with acceptance and love, anything is possible.
I certainly welcome your thoughts. Know that I said nothing here with the intention of insulting you or hurting you in any way, and if you think I'm dead wrong, I'll accept that too. Let me know your thoughts.