Part TWO of How I became a Single Mother
Last week, I talked about how my world fell to pieces when my husband left me in part 1 (secret time: my world didn’t really fall into pieces. On the contrary, my life fell in to place, but at the time, it felt like it.)
Remember when I told you about how I got stuck on the almost chant like phrase, “please, God. Please, God. Please, God….”?
This would carry me through the next several hours of that very long first night. One thing that I remember is that nothing would soothe me enough to fall asleep. Tv shows, movies, music and even spa music was somehow all still reminding me of what I had just gone through. Eventually, I settled on infomercials in the middle of the night.
I fell asleep to the soothing sounds of someone telling me how easy it was to pickle things. 5 easy payments for this system, and I could start pickling at home. Thank you, Pickle Jar Man, for helping me fall asleep that night, and several nights after. My favorite show, The Office, was eventually the thing I would play as I fell asleep. Even to this day, 5 years later, The Office is something that I turn to for comfort.
The next morning, my eyes were puffy and salty from all the tears. I don’t recall what happened when my son, Jack, woke up. I was hyper focused on talking to my husband. WHAT HAPPENED? WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? PLEASE COME BACK.
Then something happened that changed everything…
He finally admitted that he had been having an affair.
I EXPLODED. I was so angry that I could have probably tipped over a car. I was enraged.
I knew it. Looking back, there were clear signs of it. At night, he would prop a pillow up between us because he didn’t want me to wake up and see what he was doing. He would take his phone in to the shower with him. etc etc etc.
Back story: my ex husband was in his 8th year in Marine Corps. He had very bad PTSD from not only being shot in Afghanistan, but also from the trauma of seeing his buddies die in front of him and having to kill people. At the time of all this, he was going through the process of being medically retired. In order to do that, they have to make sure that it’s legit. So he had to re-hash everything that he saw and went through in these “getting out” therapy sessions. It brought up a lot that he had stuffed down. And it tanked our marriage. In a time when I needed him to be the rock, he wasn’t able to. He needed a rock, and I couldn’t be that for him at that time. I had already done that when he was shot in 2009. I needed him now.
In this time, he admitted to himself that he was no longer in love with me. In one of our fights during this the time before he left, I finally got him to admit this out loud. Man, it stung. More than that, it wrecked me. And it only added to his fuel for leaving me. Little did I know, he had this woman talking in his ear, grooming him to leave me.
“Ok I’ll tell you the truth. I am seeing someone.”
It was so cold, the way he said it. It was as if he was saying, “yeah this is happening. Deal with it.” Actually, he did say these words to me on multiple occasions. I was spiraling out of control, and he was just ok with exploding this marriage that we had built for 5 years.
I was so lost and confused! I was spiraling out of control and grasping on to anything I could hold on to. I was desperately trying to get him to listen to me and reason with me. I was trying to get him to WAKE UP! I was in the first couple stages of grief- shock and bargaining.
To be completely honest, I’ve forgotten the details of a lot of these excruciatingly painful moments. When I think back now, I have no idea just HOW I was able to withstand any of it. Especially because I was 8 months pregnant AND had a 2 year old.
It was God.
….and a little bit the Pickle Jar Man
There is a false statement that gets thrown around in the Christian community A LOT. It goes something like this, “God wouldn’t put you through it if you couldn’t handle it.” or “God wouldn’t give you anything you couldn’t withstand”. THIS IS A LIE. God absolutely 110% gives us things that we cannot mentally or physically withstand because we are supposed to rely on HIM to help us. That is the whole point. If you could handle it on your own, you wouldn’t need God. But He has designed us to need him, to cry out to Him for help. He desperately wants us to desperately need him.
I found the following verses one night. I would recite it anytime I could feel my anxiety and panic rise. Especially the very first verse.
“Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God…You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and body with grief…Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.” -Psalm 31:2-16
Do you see where this is all going? The story itself is almost irrelevant. It was coming back to Jesus. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Nothing is accidental. It’s all God’s plan.
But the story IS real, and I do believe that there is a reason that I felt a pull to share it. I am excited to see where God is leading me.