I had a follow up doctors appointment the other day. They asked some questions relating to safety, both physically and emotionally, at both appointments. I’m not sure when that started as a thing but as I pondered my answers, I wondered how I would have responded before my separation and divorce.
Would I have thought that I was safe in my environment? Loved?
Would I have had a source of joy outside of my kids and Jesus?
All of these questions started me on a path of wondering how honest I would have been or if I would have even been aware of my lack of safety.
In my home. With my spouse. The one who vowed to love and cherish me and protect me.
Sure. He would have protected me from any outside harm. But what about the harm that I didn’t realize was happening on a daily basis? In my own home?
It’s been a while since I’ve been here. So much going on. So many things occupying and vying for my attention, but I knew that I needed to make a post because it’s been so long. And my motive for doing this kept convicting me.
My motive is you.
I don’t want you to walk the same road I did with little to no support. I don’t want you to not have the validation you need or the ‘aha moments’ or the, ‘Wow, that happened to you too!’ confirmations of the unhealthy and unsafe world that you live in as the partner of a sex addict.
It can be a lonely road. People don’t get it. People think that the partner is equally responsible for the addicts problem because it takes two. Yet no one ever thinks that when we are talking about a drug addict. There’s just something about sex addition that brings with it blame. Blaming the partner for the addicts addiction.
No. It’s NOT your problem or your fault. No. You did NOTHING to make it happen, to make it worse and you can do NOTHING to make it better.
I know. I tried.
So back to the questions at my doctors office.
Do I feel safe in my home?
Now I do. I didn’t before and I didn’t know that.
I know that I was always anxious. I was always afraid. I was always tense and on edge. I slept on the edge of the bed. Every night.
And I felt crazy. I felt like I was the problem to an unknown issue. It had to be me because there was no outward evidence of it being him.
I looked for in inpatient treatment facility for myself. I wanted to jump out of a moving vehicle.
I was afraid to drive.
I was afraid to leave the house for a year.
None of these things are normal for a person living in a safe home. They weren’t known by the person who was to be closest to me. He knew about the driving but he didn’t get it. He didn’t know the source of the problem. He just thought it trivial because he couldn’t relate.
So did I feel safe at home?
My answer would have been yes. My body was screaming no.
I wish I had listened.
That’s what I want for you. Listen to what your body is telling you. It will not lie. My journey had started with me feeling like I would ‘pass out’ in relatively normal situations. One doctor told me to see a therapist, to which I was very offended. I thought she was telling me it was all in my head.
Now that I know better, I think she knew. I think she realized that the person who came to the appointment with me, appearing to be loving and supportive, was the one who was causing my body to scream, ‘I’m NOT SAFE HERE!’
It’s scary and it’s lonely. Wait. It’s terrifying. Like the movie, "Sleeping With the Enemy" terrifying.
Did I have someone who loved me?
Of course I did!! I was married for crying out loud. Stupid question. Such a no brainer. Or was it.
What does love look like?
Share finances. Check
Kids together. Check
Church together. Check
Or is it more?
I’ve since been in a more loving relationship and I’ve seen the difference.
We actually connected on a deeper level than just sharing information. We listened and truly cared about the other persons views and what mattered to them. We didn’t need sex to be loving, caring and affectionate. We could tell each other when we didn’t like what was said or had hurt feelings, without being punished with silence for a day. Or a week. We enjoyed each other’s company no matter what we did together. We were just together. Laughing and finishing each others sentences. Comfortable silence. Letting our eyes say it all.
Was there a long term commitment? no.
Home? No Finances? No Kids together? No
Church together? Well, he did watch church with me. Every Sunday. And we discussed it together. He even missed his race each week. For me. Because I mattered to him.
I’ll take that love over the one I thought I had for almost 28 years any day.
How would I have answered? Of course I’m loved.
Because I thought I was. I thought the commitment was there because we were married. I thought he was faithful to me, yet by his own admission he had only been faithful two years out of our whole marriage. But that was my fault....or so he said.
How do I answer that question now?? YES!!
And it’s not because I’m married or in a relationship. It’s because I know that I am loved completely by Jesus. I’m loved by my kids even when we don’t always agree. I’m loved by my grandkids. I’m loved by some really amazing friends.
And I’m loved by me. Because I am worth it.
Lastly, do I have a source of joy?
I would have said yes because I know Jesus is the giver of life and joy. And because of the joy my kids bring to me and my precious grandchildren. To hear them call out, ‘Grammy, Grammy Grammy’, when they see me, nothing beats it!!
And my friends. I love to spend time with them, to laugh and to cry. Several were there for me during the hardest days. They are a joy to me.
And then there’s you.
You bring me joy because I have dedicated my life to helping you on your journey towards healing and that brings me great joy. To know that my painful mess can help someone else experience a better journey, I’m in. My heart and desire is for you to not walk this crappy road alone.
You need people.
And you need to know that you can feel safe, maybe for the first time ever, that you are loved and that you can have joy along the way.
Please. Don’t walk this alone. Contact me for an opportunity to see how I can help you move forward and not feel stuck and alone.