I was going through some old unfinished blogs and I came across one from August 1, 2017. Here's what I wrote on that day:
The past few days have been full of activity with the kids but I am struggling with depression and sadness. At random times and random places, the emotions just overwhelm me and I start crying. I pray and listen to worship music to help lift the feelings of despair and hopelessness. But the reality is that infidelity is trauma of the heart. It is a trauma that doesn't just heal quickly either.
I've been told that I need to just get over the pain and move on. That I will find someone else to love me and then everything will be all better. I'm sorry but that is a lie from the devil. Most psychologists say it takes between 1 and 2 years to truly heal from infidelity.
As I was doing some reading today I came across an article about the trauma of infidelity. For those who have never had to walk down this path, I think this gives a very accurate description of what it feels like.
"Infidelity feels like intense hate that is meant to agonizingly carve the love right out of your heart. A sadistic and vengeful way to say, "I despise you like no other person on earth." It is the combination of evil and hate that rips at your heart, spitting a venom of condemnation, from someone who feels like the devil; only this time the devil is wearing your spouses face. From an enemy you may expect such ruthlessness, but not from your spouse. It is the ultimate rejection of your very being from the person who knows you the most. It is horror that terrorizes every moment of your life as it kills your dreams of what your life is, was, and will be. The shock of the assault feels no different than if your spouse plunged a knife deep into your heart, while you let out a bloodcurdling scream of destruction to your self-esteem and safety. It is mocking of your love, a statement of reprisal. The confusion so overwhelming and dismaying - How could this person who claimed to love you, dispose of your affections so ruthlessly, tearing them from your heart one vicious and bloody slash after another. "
Wow!! Reading that again today, 7months later reminds me what an emotional wreck I was. I still can't believe how accurate that article was at putting into words the pain that I felt. But more importantly reading those words shows me how far I have come in my healing process. God has proven to be there every step of the way. He has comforted me. He has repaired my broken heart and has held me up when I was too weak to stand on my own two feet. He brought just the right people into my life at just the right times. He loved me with a reckless love that never waivered. He strengthened me a little more each day. When I cried out to him he heard me and answered me.
I was talking to my daughter the other day about my choice to not run straight into another relationship. I told her that I had purposely avoided that so that I could focus on complete healing and learn about me again. I wanted to know that I wasn't using a relationship with someone else as a band aid for my pain and broken heart. She said, "Well Mom actually you did run straight to a guy....well to THE guy....God."
And in that moment, I just smiled deeply and knew that I had done it. I had survived the worst time of my life and even though I didn't always say the right thing or do the right thing, my kids saw WHO I relied on. They saw that in my worst moments, I trusted God to carry me and help me carry on. They saw that I didn't do any of this in my own strength.
I tried to hide my weakness from them but I remember one day I was really struggling emotionally and I was trying to talk to the kids about something. I think it might have been about chores or schedules. I just remember saying, "Whatever, I don't care. I'm tired. I'm going to bed." I fell into bed, pulled the covers over my head and began crying. Madison came into my room, laid down beside me, put her arm around me and said, "It's ok to cry Mom. You don't have to always be so strong for us." Of course that made me cry even more. Heck it still makes me cry even now. But it's happy tears of how blessed I am to have these amazing kids in my life.
We're all in different stages of the healing process and will progress through the stages in our own time. My wounds are beginning to scar over. Some areas are still tender and will take a little longer to heal. However, when I read what I've written in the past I am so thankful for the progress that I have made. With God's help I have not remained stuck in the trauma of the infidelity and hatefulness.
I refuse to put a time table on my full recovery. I don't know when I will be whole again and ready to find someone to love. I just know that I will continue to focus on God's plan, God's Word, God's direction and His purpose for my life. I will continue to do the hard work required to rebuild myself.
Trauma creates change you DON'T choose. Healing is about creating change you DO choose. ~Michelle Rosenthal
I've not really made a big deal about my birthday in the past several years. Usually dinner with the family was the extent of the celebrating. Sometimes I celebrated birthday weekend, but lets be honest that was just an excuse to not have to cook or clean. For my 40th birthday a few years back, my mom and aunt came up and we had a full weekend of celebrating. This year I decided to do things a little differently.
A friend inspired me to celebrate birthday month. And honestly this year I needed to celebrate myself and the life that I have been blessed with. This year February was the 1 year anniversary of my ex moving out, the date for the final court hearing for the divorce and my first Valentine's Day in 22 years without a significant other. I needed to focus on the good things to keep me from crashing down emotionally.
So that's what I did. I started the month with lunch out with my "birthday month celebrating" friend and I ended the month with a day trip to the beach. On the days in between, I celebrated the little things like sleeping in, taking a bubble bath, a warm sunny day or watching Netflix with the kids. I enjoyed a 9 day vacation right in the middle of the month. I celebrated special gifts and cards from family, friends and even a couple of strangers.
I was very thankful for the warning I got from the policeman instead of the speeding ticket. That was definitely a moment to celebrate. I had lunch with Bible study friends and dinner with some fellow February birthday girls. I celebrated the news that I had gotten the second job that I had applied for and I figured out the mechanical issue with my daughter's car. Madison and I celebrated Valentine's Day by going to see "The Greatest Showman". It was so good...we absolutely loved it!!
On my birthday, the kids and I flew to Chicago for a couple of days. We had fun shopping and exploring a new city. I got to eat yummy Chicago deep dish pizza for my birthday dinner and a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery for my "birthday cake".
And even though it was difficult, I was thankful to be able to finalize the divorce agreements and conclude the legal aspect of the divorce. During my month of celebrating another year of life, my 22 year marriage officially ended. I could focus on the sadness and heartbreak of that, but instead I am choosing to see the possibilities of new beginnings. I will celebrate who I am becoming, the lessons that I have learned and the strength that I have gained through the challenges. I will celebrate my growth from an insecure woman who was afraid to use her voice to the confident, bold woman who understands her value and her worth. I have faced so many challenges head on and have succeeded in getting back up every time that life knocked me down. I have learned that it's ok to have dreams and passions and to pursue those. God has put those things into my heart because he has created me to fulfill them. Anytime that I have pursued those passions, I have felt so much peace and joy. However, I had a habit of allowing the dreams and passions of my ex to take priority. I worked to make his dreams a reality and was supportive of him. I didn't understand why he could not return that support towards my pursuits. It has taken some time but I have realized that was his character issue not mine. When you truly love someone you support them in their God given purpose.
As I look forward into the future, I am so excited for new opportunities, new possibilities, new milestones and new things to celebrate. I am already making plans for fun things to do for Birthday Month 2019. I will definitely be taking another vacation week and maybe go somewhere new!!
But I'm not gonna just sit around and wait for next year to celebrate my life. I'm going to try really hard to find the good in every day.....the gift of family....the joy of friendship....the peace of God.....the blessings of gratitude......and the hope of true love.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.