Sunday, August 14, 2011

The truth is a beautiful thing

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32 NIV
When I first learned the truth about my marriage several years ago, it took me over 6 months to begin to accept the truth. I was embarrassed that I was headed to divorce.
I was ashamed that my husband had been cheating on me. But most of all, I was humiliated by the notion that everyone knew about my ex's infidelity except for me.

I didn’t tell anyone what was going on for a very long time. I confided in my parents, but that was it. Several months later, I finally told a friend what was going on. Before I packed my bags and headed home, I finally told my sister the truth.

I soon realized that the more open I became about my divorce, the more liberated I felt. After attending several S-Anon meetings, I learned that “we are only as sick as our secrets.” That phrase really struck a chord with me. In order to heal, I had to start being honest with myself and everyone around me.

Writing this blog and putting the truth out there for everyone to see has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. But it has freed me from the chains of secrecy and shame.

I used to have a lot of secrets and I was very sick because of those secrets. I felt tired all of the time and I eventually had to be treated for stomach ulcers. Now that I have been able to slowly shed myself of those secrets, I feel better than ever.

It has taken me over a year to get to the point where I don’t breakout in a full sweat when I want to be honest with someone. Now I find it hard to “fake it” and I find myself saying, “I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, but I have to be honest…”

I know I will have to continually remind myself that I am only as sick as my secrets. Coveting secrets and living in shame is a hard habit to break.

I thought the truth would set me free immediately—but I soon learned that these things take time. When I first learned about my ex’s secret life, I was devastated. I wished I had never found out the truth.

But here I sit—2 years, 10 months, and 14 days later and I can honestly say that the truth did set me free. The secrets that destroyed our marriage and the secrets that I chose to continue to carry with me made me sick—physically and mentally.

I have also discovered that this new-found honesty I display makes it impossible for my ex to control me. So now I know that I am free—free from control and free of fear. I am now free to live my life the way it was meant to be lived.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A new friend

What a difference a week makes. Or maybe I should say, “What difference does a week make?”

I guess for me, this week has made a lot of difference. This time last week, I was sitting at home getting things ready for Veronica’s surgery in Jacksonville. My sister came to town to take care of Jude and get him to school. She was also a big help in taking my mind off of things. I am happiest when my sister is with me.

Amy and I on vacation--laughed so hard I hurt myself...

The surgery went amazing—the hospital, doctors, and staff were incredible. It was one of the best hospital stays we have ever had.

My ex showed up and decided that he was not speaking to me and it made me very uncomfortable. He was the only person who showed up at the hospital, so my loneliness was overwhelming.

Of course I had people calling my cell phone and checking in so I felt the love from the outside world. And one of the best things that happened was Robby’s sister reached out to me through email. We emailed back and forth while I was sitting in Veronica’s dark room watching her sleep.

She sent me the most hilarious stories about co-workers and her survival strategies of dealing with the “public” at her job at the library. Despite the humor we portrayed on the surface of our emails, there was this underlying sense of connection that began to develop through our communication. I realized that I have the unique opportunity to gain another close sister relationship. I only have one sister and our relationship is the most remarkable connection I share with anyone.

My sister Amy and I are very close. We share the most devoted bond that I have with another person. We have always been that way and I know that nothing will ever change that. We talk at least once per day on the phone and I never get tired of our conversations.

Robby and his sister are extremely close as well. He adores her. She is, without a doubt, the most important person in his life.

Even though we have never met face to face, I now feel a very strong bond with this woman. We both adore Robby and she knows that he adores the kids and me. But more importantly, we connected in our bizarre sense of humor. That doesn’t happen often to me, so it makes an impact.

So, while I realized this week that I will most likely lose my home and a large portion of my already depleted savings, I realized that I gained a new friend—perhaps a sister. And that relationship means more to me than the material objects that have held me hostage over the past few years.

So, in one week I went from sad, depressed, and distraught to encouraged, hopeful, and accepting. While a week may make a huge difference in my view on life, I have a feeling that this new relationship will once again change my life for the better.