Updated: Sep 9, 2019
We stand in the way of our own healing.
When talking with our artists, we get a glimpse of the trials they have gone through, the abandonment, and the strength they found deep within.
We wanted to start over, so we moved to a new town.
My husband and I, along with our three children, moved to a new town. We found an amazing community and, because we are both extroverts, we had our hands in everything. We were invited to people's houses and to all sorts of celebrations. If something was happening, our family was there.
I had figured out the art of covering up for my husband. Even though we were around people all the time and we were loved, my husband had a side to him that others didn't see. Well, most the time I was able to cover it up, and people missed what was going on. A couple months into our new community I began to have many health issues, and I wasn't able to keep covering up for my husband. I was in too much physical pain all the time.
They saw a glimpse of the real "us."
A little get away was in store. My husband and I were invited to a cabin with our friends. I didn't think I was going to need to do too much "cover up" work with these people. The wives hung out separately from the husbands, so I was sure confrontation wasn't going to hit us this weekend. Before leaving, my husband asked me to pack all of our things (mine, his, and all of our food). The next morning, we were preparing to make breakfast for everyone, and I realized I had forgotten the eggs. I felt so embarrassed, but I was ready to go to the store and pick some up. The next thing I know, in front of everyone, my husband scolded me. "You can't do anything right. You always forget things. Great, now we don't have what we need."
I was a deer caught in headlights. I wasn't ready for this. Our friends got a glimpse of how our family really worked. I couldn't make this better, I couldn't say anything that would help. My mind went blank. I apologized and headed to the grocery store to fix the problem. My girlfriend went with me and I tried to brush it off. I tried making the mood light. It wasn't working.
I was exhausted.
I felt warn out. I couldn't be the happy face anymore. I couldn't be the fixer or the buffer between my husband's behavior, and other people. I was exhausted. I did it for ten years. I felt like rags. I realized I was the one who was standing in the way of my husband getting better. I was in the way of me getting better, and I was in the way of my kids learning how to treat each other. I wasn't doing anyone a favor by trying to save face in front of people. I finally realized, "I have to get out of my (the) way and so we can grow."
Life got worse.
I stepped out of the way and let things just happen. This was a huge slap in the face. Everyone could see everything. I wasn't covering up for anyone. I wasn't making light of conversations that were degrading to me. My husband started backing away from people, our community. He was at work more. He was going to evening meetings. He would come home late and need to take a shower. Then he would want us to be intimate. I felt so torn during this time. I loved my husband and at the same time I was worn out. I didn't feel good, and my body hurting in so many ways. I gave myself to my husband as much as he wanted. One evening, he didn't come home from work. Instead a family friend came over and told me. "Your husband is in jail, he has been trying to get a hold of you. When you receive a call from this number, pick it up." I picked it up. He didn't say anything, he just sat there. He didn't tell me what happened, he just sat there.
Wasn't I worth telling?
Hadn't we been through enough together that he could trust me?
I didn't know what to think.
I was so hurt and worried about him.
Why are you in such a hurry?
Then it happened.
He was released from jail and lived at home with us for a short time. Then it happened. He had been seeking out other women. Again he didn't tell me. He confessed to some men in our community. He could no longer live with us. My children didn't understand. My babies were heartbroken, they didn't know why dad wasn't at home anymore. I was horrified, but again began to put on a good face for my babies. It was too much for me to bear. I realized what I was doing, and saw that my babies were trying to do the same. They needed me to be real, they needed me to cry with them. They needed me to be the real me, and keep moving forward. They needed truth to their questions that were appropriate for their ages. We were all in need.
In the end.
We were working through things in our family. Counseling was happening, emails were going back and forth. But I was still accused of being the problem. One day my babies came home from seeing their dad. They told me, "Mom, we met dad's girlfriend today." Again, a big slap in the face. I knew at that moment, this wasn't going to be me covering up for him anymore. I was no longer going to talk to him and try to fix it. It was obvious what he wanted. I couldn't participate in what he was doing. I couldn't behave like I was worth nothing. I couldn't show my children that it was ok to have men treat their wives like this, and I couldn't show their father that I was going to allow myself to be treated like this any longer. As I began to get things moving toward a divorce, he asked me, "Why are you in such a hurry?"
I am free. I get to learn who I am and learn my children. We get to learn through life and have grace for one another. No more covering up. Life gets messy being a single parent, and while it doesn't appear to be beautiful all the time, I believe it is. In our realness we are beautiful. I have been "the Everything", and we are beautiful and messy.