According to Webster's Dictionary, the word 'redeem' means "to free from the consequences of sin." Although, it was not my sin, I still desperately need to be freed of the consequences.

"Redeemed women of God have tender merciful hearts, backbones of steel, and hands that are prepared for the fight." - Staci Elderidge

"Even though my heart has been broken at times, I want to retain a tender merciful heart- the kind of heart that is vulnerable, open to all emotions, and engaged in honest, intimate relationships. If my heart is hardened, no matter the cause, I cannot live to my fullest potential.

By setting and holding emotional, physical and spiritual boundaries and standing up with courageous determination to what I know to be right, I continue to forge my backbone of steel.

As women, I believe we want to fight against evil, and we have power greater than we've ever imagined to aid us in that fight."
- Rhyll Croshaw

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Empathy Lessons Part 1 (of 3): D-Day Devastation

NOTE:  This is my D-day story.  It could be triggering...

January 3, 2013
Last night, my world fell apart.
Last night, my husband told me that he has been 'struggling' with porn, again.  For the last 3 years.
Last night, I realized, that this wasn't just a 'problem'.  You don't struggle with the same 'problem' for 15 years.
Last night, my life changed forever.

Today, I feel crushed.
Today, I feel deceived.
Today, I feel unloved.
Today, I feel ugly.
Today, I am screaming and clawing inside.

I don't remember getting dressed this morning, but my hair smells clean and I have clothes on.  Somehow, my children got to school.  At some point, my weekly sitter showed up and I left her with my little ones.  I don't really have anywhere to go.  So, I just drive around town and cry great big sobbing heaves.  My soul feels such torment my heart is screaming, "RUN!"  "TAKE COVER!" "FIGHT!"  "RETREAT!"  My heart doesn't know which way to go.  It just knows that THIS is bad.

There is a ditch along side the road where I am driving.  If I drove my car into that ditch, I probably wouldn't die, but I would get hurt.  I would need a new car.  I would get meals.  I would be offered play dates for my kids.  There would be a physical manifestation for the pain I feel inside.  My friends would see the outward pain.  They would rally.

I instantly realize how unhealthy this line of thinking is, so I turn my car around and drive straight to my  friend's house.

Her daughter answers the door.  She's 14.  She babysits for us.  I was her beehive leader.  She knows me.  She sees my big, red puffy eyes and is instantly uncomfortable.  She calls for her mother and attempts small talk about the weather.

Her mother has a huge smile as she rounds the corner.  It instantly fades and is replaced with her mom voice.  "Sara, go do your homework."  It was an unnecessary command.  Sara was running from the grown up drama the minute she saw her mother.

I am tiny.  Allison is also a tiny person and some how she managed to catch me as I collapsed onto her.  I sobbed like I was throwing up the anguish I felt inside, through my tears.  I am vaguely aware of her bare feet on the icy walkway.  I can hear her saying, through her own tears.  "What?!"  "What happened?!"  "Oh my gosh, what is it??!!"

This is not something she has ever seen me do.  I don't think she even thought I was capable of such distress.

I don't easily ruffle.

I definitely don't break down.

She pulls me to the couch and I tell her how I have been devastated.  Hurt beyond belief.  I don't tell details.  She doesn't need details.  But, she knows it was Paul.  She knows she'll see him at church on Sunday.  She knows he still has a temple recommend and can still take the sacrament.

She knows just enough that I feel that I am not utterly alone.  She loves me.  She tells me I am important and that I will make it.

As I drive away, my tears spent and dried, my cell rings.  It's Paul.

"Where have you been?", he says.

Instantly, I know that he knows I was at Allison's.
(Ironically) He has installed "friend finders" on our phones.  (I've used it to find him, like 3 times.  It was boring.)  He has been tracking me.

"I was at Allison's."  There was nothing else to say.

"What did you tell her?"

"I went there because I was thinking of driving my car into a ditch."

"What did you tell her?", he presses.

"I was upset and I was crying.  I told her that I have been hurt.  That you had hurt me.  I was thinking of driving my car into a ditch."

"Now I'm going to be uncomfortable around them.  I like them and now they know."

"I didn't tell her WHAT you did.  I told her you still have a recommend and can still take the sacrament."

"But, you are upset, she knows it was bad.  I understand why you did it, but I wish you hadn't done that.  It puts me in an uncomfortable position."

I second guess my decision.  Maybe I should just be dealing with this on my own.  But, it hurts so bad.


  1. Thank you for posting this, I got emotional when I read about the ditch, and how people would be able to take care of you....without having to know the real reason you needed help! I too have had to deal with the my husband's fear/embarrassment when I mention talking about this with someone else. Thanks again for sharing...I could relate 100%

  2. Oh, I'm so glad you had a good friend to catch you when you fell (literally and figuratively). And that is so sad that your husband was more concerned about how others perceive him than your self-destructive feelings. Definitely a red flag that something is WAY off. Thank you for sharing your story. Hugs.

  3. I can also relate 100% to this pain. This is what trauma feels like. Thanks for sharing.

  4. It's disgusting how self-centered we addicts are when we are in the middle of the addiction cycle. It's all about us. How others will perceive us. Oh, my wife is hurting and needs help? Sorry, that takes second place to my possible discomfort. I've said very similar things to my wife when I was actively in the addiction cycle. It's much different now that I am in recovery. I am more open about it than she is now. Reading through this blog has been invaluable to me in understanding what it is I've done to my wife. It's been hard to read, but necessary. It's hard to come face to face with the truth of what I have done to my wife by my selfishness. These posts often cause me to break down into tears. I wonder how she can ever forgive me or trust me again.