Some days trauma just seems to sneak up on me and settle in for a visit. I have been actively working on healing from the betrayal trauma I experienced when I discovered my husband’s double life and all the lies that went with it. I have come a long way and feel like my life now is much more peaceful and satisfying than when I was living with active addiction and the subsequent emotional abuse that brings with it. I have spent most of that time attending weekly therapy sessions, support groups and learning all I could about pornography and sex addiction and what I needed to do to heal from it.
And yet, there at still days when it just hits me like a ton of bricks. It usually happens when things are going really great. This past weekend I spent my time working on little projects at home being with my kids. We did nothing special, didn’t go anywhere fun but it was a beautiful, peace-filled weekend. I felt such gratitude for my little family and for all the ways I could see God’s hand in my life. He truly has blessed me in so many ways.
Then two nights ago everything came crashing down again. The sorrow and pain of losing my husband and the life I loved and had worked so hard for. He’s currently stationed with the military in a part of the country where I have always longed to live. From the outside he is living the life I love. And he has spun this whole divorce in such a way that many, many people believe him. They believe that I am the one who destroyed our marriage.
Most of the time I can separate that from the reality I know. But sometimes it’s just hard to carry all of this. Especially when I am the victim in this story. I am the one who is loosing the most; I have lost my dream of being a stay-at-home mom (I work part time from home but it’s not the same) I’ve lost the military live I loved, I now have to carry the burdens of finances, taking care of my three kids, taking care of my home and all the other random extras that have always been shared by two people. But I think the greatest loss is with the people in my life who I have loved and who have chosen to not chose me.
I have lost my stbx’s entire family. His family has been closer to me than my own family for the last 10 years and none of them have chosen to believe me or trust me. Some have flat out condemned me (telling me I’m going to hell and that Jesus never condone divorce) others simply stop acknowledging me. They all know most of the story, they know my stbx is a sex addict, that he is emotionally abusive (although they will not acknowledge those labels) they know how hard I have fought for the past 10 years to strengthen my marriage and keep my family together.
They simply have chosen to blame me and condemn me to avoid looking in the mirror and seeing the addiction and abuse that is rampant in all their relationships.
Losing them hurts. But when I chose to move forward with this divorce I knew losing them would be the collateral damage I would have to accept. What I wasn’t expecting was the loss of other dear friends who have chosen to believe the lies that my stbx has spread like wild fire and the deliberately chosen to disregard who they know me to be.
It’s almost funny, out of all the people who have abandoned me none have based their decisions on who they know me to be. They have simply agreed to believe the version of me and the events that have led up to this divorce that my stbx has given them. It’s so very painful to have so many people that I have loved and trusted turn on me. I thought the time and effort and vulnerability I had put into our relationships would result in more loyalty from them. I was wrong.
So today (and yesterday) all of that pain and unfairness and injustice has settled back in. I feel angry that this is my lot in life now. That I have always done everything “right” and now I am struggling to survive as a single mom of 3 who has been vilified by so many people I once trusted. I am fighting a legal battle with no end in sight which is draining my savings at an astonishing rate.
Some days all of this just seems too much. So I’m going to sit in this today, allow these feelings to come, cry (again) if I need to and get up tomorrow knowing it is a new day.
One day at a time.