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

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Unintended Consequence

The phone rings.  I freeze and my legs go wobbly as I listen to the voice on the other end.  I sit down.  Through sobs or sometimes rushed, clipped words, you trust me with your stories and I pause to hear you.

Sometimes it's an email or a text, but the response is the same.  My heart breaks every time.

Most of the time, it's from a stranger.  A faceless name that shares with me their inner most secrets and hurts.  And I listen and hold their words.

But sometimes, it's from someone I know all too well.  I've kissed their baby's cheeks or sat their child in time out.  Sometimes I babysat them when we were kids.  Sometimes they babysat me.

With every story, my world crumbles just a little more.  The reality of the consequence of choice slaps me in the face once again.  But, once in a while, I hear a story, that rocks me to the foundation. It breaks my heart all over again.  It is a story from the people I am the closest to in the world.  The hardest ones are the few who made me feel so safe and loved.  My world isn't filled with very many safe people who came before me, so those are the stories that I feel crack my foundation and I'm left once again repairing the damage that someone else caused.

Early on after D-day, a dear friend told me to watch out, being open about my story would draw others to me and I would be asked to carry their stories as well.  I heard her and recognized that possibility as an unintended but necessary consequence of my own healing path.

My D-day was just over 5 years ago and I'm still hearing your stories.  I take them all and hold them sacred in my heart.  Each one has a place and a reason.  Sometimes I shed a tear, every time I feel your pain and once in a while, I have to climb back in bed and lay in the silence of the dark.  It's the price I have to pay for shouldering the sacred responsibility of helping to carry your pain.

I'm in no way asking you to stop.  I'm acknowledging that I hear you.  What has happened to you is not your fault and holding your story is a sacred responsibility and one that I will always make room for.  Even if I find myself wrapping up in my childhood blanket and crawling back in bed.

3 comments:

  1. Can we PLEASE get past the false idea that Wives of sex-addicts are codependent? This is the one addiction that doesn't seek out a codependent as a spouse. He doesn't want a codependent, because he wants an innocent spouse, who will struggle to understand the unthinkable, without a frame of reference. To him, women are objects--she's just another object, but one who will do the laundry, mop the floors, and give him sex so he can use her to fantasize about others.

    The idea is to keep her in the dark, not cultivate codependency; she needs to be gaslighted, so she has to be innocent and trusting, not stupid but naive. He has a real life that she is too clean to even imagine!
    Annie, my best friend since we were 9, is with a dirty creep. I am trying to save her life, because I think she's going to lose hope completely.
    My good friend is trying to stay with her husband, a sex-addict who also has ADHD. He has always been hyperimpulsive, and I came to her house to help her clean out her freezer (goodies because she's planning in case she leaves quickly.)I'm 59, she's 57, and I divorced a sex/porn/cheater first husband and Annie didn't judge, she just brought me a wig (chemo is when he decided to leave, and my hair was on the pillow when I got up one morning.) Anyway, she brought me a funny hat, a good wig, and several Halloween wigs, excellent make-up, and a dozen sticky notes that she put all over my house. (A bumper sticker that said, "Bald Is Sexy!)" on the back of my car, and that and a bright scarf and a make-up job were what my second husband noticed when I started a new job.
    So I didn't live very long with what I consider a sex addict, because I couldn't survive cancer and infidelity.

    Annie is so strong, and so very, very hurt. It makes my heart ache to hear her voice telling me that she's fine, but her voice breaks and she starts this little laugh to cover it up, and she ends the call fast. Then she calls back in (get this--)43 minutes. I always watch the clock because Annie is going to call in 43 minutes. She's limited her cry, gotten herself a cup of hot chocolate, and sung a song to level out her voice. Then, she avoids talking about her life and I get to babble on until things normalize.

    I want to slaughter this man. I'm a medical professional and want to make him go away. I know the difference between stuck with a nasty, lying, whoring, selfish man and a decent, clean man who doesn't have religion really--but has more integrity than the Pope. My husband works for a company that contracts with mine, and he actually invited me to be there for one of his yearly polygraph tests, as a "date", when I was on the fence about whether to believe he was completely faithful.

    Annie hasn't "outed" him to family, to her friends, to her church group, her husband's family. But her heart is torn so deeply, and I would give her anything that she needs to heal.

    I do have issues with any religion that doesn't value women in every way--and good, decent healthy righteous men, in marriages with decent, healthy righteous wives? They can't even begin to smell the muck.

    So I have to walk a tight line, to make sure Annie doesn't feel that she has to avoid me. I have to make my circle big enough that bits of him don't make me vomit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You were very kind to let me cry on your shoulder years ago - thank you so much for that gift when I needed it.

    ReplyDelete