Early Saturday morning…

Early Saturday morning we were having our morning coffee and Tim said, “I had a dream last night.” I looked at him and he had tears in his eyes so I told him to tell me about it. We were on Hatteras Island and went into a little shop. Ma and Pop were in there running it. We visited with them and Tim said “This is the kind of shop we want to have down here.” Pop was running the register, taking care of people that came in. With tears, Tim said Ma looked at him and said “Thank you.”

“…a sober drunk…”

Listening to New Life Live on WAVA the other day, www.newlife.com, one of the guys used the term ‘sober drunk’ and it peaked my interest and tumblers began to really click home. Tim is about to get his 9 month chip. He has not acted out in any way for 9 months, including pornography. Things should be fabulous, yes? A faithful husband is what I want! Why did things still feel so wrong, with little glimpses of right? We’d gone to Intimacy in Marriage and really learned there is a why to these behaviors and how to dig in and figure out the “why’s” so we could heal. We’d experienced what will ultimately be the answer but hadn’t quite attuned that in our hearts yet. I knew things were still not where they should be and he knew he was still not happy with our relationship, especially the physical part.

We’d learned to differentiate between non-sexual touch and sexual touch and how they should never be intermingled and this was where our struggle was. It is essential to have safe touch, to feel each others heart beating, to breathe together. Actual physiological things happen when we experience this, much the same as when our mothers and fathers held us. Until we began this after Intimacy in Marriage we were both two islands really. We’d dance around each other, one wanting one thing, the other running from it.

Tim had his behavior under control, he’d eliminated all the “illegal” ways of acting out and stopped doing those but now I had become the object of his acting out. I was the only “legal” avenue. This is what I thought I wanted, my husband lusting after me but NO! This doesn’t feel good. He had just taken his addiction and made me the drug of choice. A better choice than the others but still my soul was dying inside of me. Ironically, this all blew up on September 11th, 2017.

I’d gone to see my therapist and we’d discussed this and I’d told her he is saying and doing all the right things but we are still in this dance. Tim trying to manipulate circumstances and me trying to avoid the traps. This did not feel right and I said, “There is no heart change.” Just behavioral change. So when Tim got home that night we had a talk…well it began as a talk…it ended with me leaving knowing my marriage was over. Instead of listening calmly and responding he got defensive and then exploded with “How long is this going to take anyway? I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing, when are you going to get better?” That is a much abbreviated version. It was horrible because I was begging him not to speak with me that way and telling him he was really triggering me. I finally took my blood pressure and it was 198 over 100 and he finally stopped but much damage had been done. As reality settled over me and I tried to calm down I knew we were done, there was no way I could stay in this situation. I now knew it was abuse and to stay would just be stupid.

I gathered my purse and inhalers and got in the car not knowing where to go. I didn’t really have anywhere to go so I thought I’d go for a ride and figure it out. Thought about going to visit my sister in Woodstock, 2 and 1/2 hours away and realized I didn’t know if the car would make it there safely. New realities flooding in, my actual situation came home to my soul. I didn’t even have a safe car to drive away from this relationship in. Having no where else to go I went back home.

I don’t often lose control in anger but I was angry and I let him know every reason why and to save my life I had to get out of our marriage. He was not a safe person for me.

Tim was repentant. He’d been calling the entire time I was gone and I wasn’t going to answer the phone. I don’t think he expected me to come back. Then we talked. Then we watched tv.newlife.com and how to make your wife feel safe and how to deal with triggers and how to make restitution and all these shows and Tim’s eyes seemed to be really opened to the pain he’d been causing. With a pending possibility of separation sex was no where on the table and that ended “the dance”.

The following Friday we had a family conflict and that somehow drew our souls together. We didn’t blame each other, it had actually happened because Tim was trying to protect me. No one is used to that! Lol! He held me so that I could sleep and he’d put his hand where the pain is and gently press in to make it feel better. My mother used to have me press my stomach against her and that is the last time I experienced that kind of safe touch, except for with my babies and grandbabies. Our souls were becoming entwined in our mutual pain. Until Friday.

The AC had been acting up and with my asthma Tim was really worried about it because it had gotten hot. We were managing and then he said he was going to buy a little unit for the bedroom so we’d be cool in there until Robert could come and fix our ac. Being the end of the season they were out and he ended up making several stops on his way home but he’d gotten one. Tim had been busy all week because when I pointed out the car situation he saw how that would make me feel unsafe and he seemed to take personal responsibility for it. We are allegedly selling our house and we want to replace our car then and not borrow money. I literally go out alone like once a week so the car has not been a priority. He’d been working on taking care of repairs all week and I couldn’t sway him. He was determined and when I questioned him he said, “You will have a safe car, even if it’s to drive away from me.” Back to Friday.

It was hot and he was struggling to get the unit to sit right and get everything where it needed to be. I told him to calm, I was getting more and more anxious but he didn’t listen. He just exploded on me and horrible vitriol came forth from him. His real feelings just spewed at me and I was begging him to stop and he wouldn’t and my world was again falling apart before my eyes. At one point I was on the floor and he kept on raging. I can’t stay in that situation if I want to somehow allow God to redeem what is left of my life. The really sad part is my heart had already begun to harden from the time two weeks prior.

The following Monday was when I asked if I was a narcissist and was told no, that I was a victim of a narcissist. This was devastating because I was ready to be the bad guy. I’ve been told many times I’m the problem, how can they all be wrong? What had happened was I began to believe what I was being told. I’ve spent so much time in self examination looking for what I did wrong, what I’m doing wrong, what I might do wrong. My therapist calls me on it and I’m glad but you give me a negative event and I’ll work it all the way around to it being my fault. If it’s my fault the pain was self inflicted, not someone else hurting me, rejecting me. If I’m the problem I can control it. The bad guy can get good. I’m a victim? Tim and I dove into tv.newlife.com and he saw it. He saw the damage that he’d been doing to me and the damage that he’d been doing to himself and to our family. My symptoms are text book, his actions have been text book. Narcissism is pretty common in addiction. He saw it and he was broken.

My dad lived the last parts of his life as a sober drunk and a drunk drunk. He never went into recovery to dig out the pain that caused his addiction. He’d do fine for a while and a trigger would send him diving back into the bottle. When he was sober he was exercising great self control until he couldn’t. With Tim, up until the “diagnosis”, he’d simply been exercising great self control until he couldn’t. It’s how he’s managed it our entire marriage. Until times got tough and he’d blow up our world again. With this last explosion has come great repentance, what appears to be Godly sorrow. It’s difficult to trust in that but I’m not running out the door quite yet.

It’s been a little more than three weeks and every day is wrestling with the realities of where we are. God has been so active in all of it, getting me other women to get around when He knew I was going to be crushed again, I got into my Sustained Victory group and even went to a ladies night! I would never leave him alone because I was afraid of what might happen when I was gone. If I have to live in that fear, though, what kind of life is that? What kind of relationship is that? Not one that is healthy and I reject that.

Because Tim appears broken and repentant and changing, I am staying. The ball is really in his court. I just read this to him over the phone and he says to post it so here it comes!

Examining the past lest we repeat it…

There have been so many things running through our minds with this new reality of ours. The Lord is showing both Tim and I things and different perspectives and what we are seeing is heartbreaking. We have both been getting educated about these insidious things that have been recently named in our relationship. The standard by which we measure everything has been changed, corrected. We both, unbeknownst to each other, had been running history through our minds and holding it up to this new standard of measure.

Two days ago when Tim got home I said, “We need to talk. I’ve been thinking tons about your mom and grandmom.” (We don’t even know her name! She’s just gone and her grandchildren don’t know her name!) We were both told that his granddad had a mistress for most of their marriage and when his wife died he married the mistress. How that crushed her soul and I don’t know her name! Her grandson doesn’t know her name…her great grandchildren don’t know her name! We don’t even know for sure if this is true…

He said, “Me, too. The way things were…”

We talked some more about it and moved on but we both had it on our minds. I think that to tell the story would be beneficial to many but some might not like it. Again, last night, I told Tim we needed to talk and we did. I shared my concerns about telling the story and he said, “This will help people and that is what I want to do.”

After much more discussion he said, “I want you to tell this story.” So here I am, telling a very light version of it lest we offend.

There have just been lots of things clicking into place in both of our minds and if we are correct we have been living under a generational curse at least 3 generations old, I pray it stops with our generation. One of the first clicks was in our counseling session at Intimacy in Marriage when both of us agreed that I was the black sheep in our family. It didn’t take much for us to begin correlating other situations in history to our own. We were not a team in our marriage, it was him against me and this is what our kids had modeled before them. Just as Tim had certain behaviors and attitudes modeled before him and his dad had certain behaviors and attitudes modeled before him. These are the lessons that teach us how to navigate this world. Lessons that destroy souls, making people disappear before your eyes although their heart still beats and their breath still comes…

We see it modeled in the world and on television and in our homes and we take these destructive patterns of dealing with life into the new families we create and several generations later someone wakes up. These patterns have by now become patterns of abuse that seem the standard and are acceptable, right even. There is an insurance commercial that is so disturbing to me. It is modeling resentment, bitterness, secrets and vengeance in a marriage, in a family. The man, the alleged leader and protector of this family is displaying passive aggressive behavior for us to see and learn by. Dysfunction is honored and it is so damaging. We must go back to the only true and right standard and that is the God’s Word. Our problems begin when we scoff at what it says, becoming fools. We truly know not the damage we are inflicting on each other.

My last post I said the Lord was leading me to Ephesians 6. He was actually leading me to chapters 4, 5 and 6. So many things jumped in my soul, one being this, Ephesians 4:1-3. It was hard to define where to stop it’s so good so keep reading on your own, it is rich!  This scripture was copied from BibleGateway.com , a great source for all translations and more!

Ephesians 4:1-3 (NASB)

Unity of the Spirit
4 ‘Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’

Our intention in sharing this journey is to help and not to hurt. The darkness needs to come into the LIGHT, the LIGHT WILL overcome it. Our Father said so and He is not a man that He would lie! Let us do that as You have taught us above, Lord, let us not do any harm. We are asking for prayer to strengthen us to walk in a manner worthy…face it when we fall…face it when we fail…accept Your love and forgiveness and start over again!

29 “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

Our Dear Father, let our words always be as you have commanded here and quickly call us back when a critical spirit or a root of bitterness and resentment creeps in, lest we do harm. Let us only share out of a desire to edify and not to repay or self serve. Use us Father to help lead Your people out of this present darkness and gather together hearts and minds in unity as You would have it. Thank You so much for all You’ve done, all You’re doing and all You are going to do. We love you so very much, Jesus. We are overwhelmed by Your Love for us. 

In Your Precious Holy Name,

Tim and Sherry

Kind of Stuck!

Good morning everyone! The Lord has been showing me so many things this past week and I’ve got so many things I want to write about. Figuring out what He would have me write about is proving difficult.  Dr. Stanley teaches that you shouldn’t teach or preach about things you are not fervent about and I am fervent about them all! So I am asking for prayer to know for certain what the next right thing is…in every aspect of our lives.

There is nothing  so powerful on this earth as the power of prayer. It is us calling on the Creator of the Universe for help and that’s what He wants us all to do. He loves us more  perfectly than our earthly fathers ever could. I know as soon as I send this out there will be prayer. I know that not long after there will be a supernatural peace in my heart and I’m hopeful for clarity of mind. This  is the unity of the Spirit, the Church, the body of Jesus Christ, the only true church, consisting of every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ across every denominational line. We need each other and there is no shame in that need.  We are made in His image, we need community,  to love and be loved. To know and be known! We were not meant to walk this road alone.  Thank you so much for prayer, it is precious and priceless!

epiphany or another delaying tactic…?

I really am going to read my bible before I go on Facebook and He’s already told me Ephesians 6  so that is where I will be going after this. I had to go get my readers and as I’m walking back an interesting thought occurred. One of the worst times in my life, certainly up to that point, was when Tim moved out on December 10th, 1999 and then returned home on March 1st, 2000. I could barely function, used up all my leave at work having to leave in the middle of the day because I couldn’t hold it together. It was me and my boys and Tim would visit here and there. It felt like someone had taken a rusty old fishing knife and sawed my midsection completely in two with only my spine holding me together. I know there are those who fully understand. My only survival was Jesus and He used that time to become very known to me. It was me and Him, One on one. I could barely sleep so I’d listen to WAVA 105.1 all hours of the day and night. I knew every program they had. If I managed to sleep I’d awaken with some song I hadn’t heard in ages running through my mind and then I learned about the Creator who does bring songs in the night. Day too! If I made it to 1:pm at work I’d take my break and go to my car to listen to New Life Live for 15 minutes. If I didn’t I heard the whole hour! I filled notebook after notebook with sermon notes after sermon notes. Much time was spent in our master bathroom because I couldn’t lose it with the Lord in front of the kids. They were messed up enough. I remember writhing in pain on the floor begging God to help me. I took on Satan in that bathroom one night and vowed to him he would not win and the greatest fear came over me after I said that and I had to remember that I have that authority over him in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I’d pray and He would answer on the spot. One morning I was at a loss where to even go in the bible for solace and comfort, told Jesus that and said show me where to read and opened the bible. David and Saul were talking about the armor not fitting and I was like, “Lord…really?” Those wee soul-whispered words, “Keep reading.”

As I read through the account of David and Goliath it began to dawn on me what He was saying. If I trusted Him, He would give me the desires of my heart. I had to come to accept that I may not know the true desires of my heart and surrender to that. My faith in God was the power that would make my husband come home and be the husband and father he was meant to be, if that was His will. The whole world was telling me to get a lawyer and sock it to him but God said, “No. That is not my will here. Have faith in me and joy will come in the morning.” Tim flat out said I am not coming home ever. My pastor and counselor said, “I’ve never seen anyone come home after all that has happened.”

One Sunday as I returned from church, Tim pulled up behind me in the driveway. His first words were, “I am not coming back.” He never left again except for one night we spent together in his apartment.

About a year later, Tim was asked to help with the youth at church and then they said, “We meant both of you.” So I started coming to youth group thinking I had nothing for the kids and sort of was sitting back, helping with snacks. They went to go play their games and I was saying, “See, Lord, I’m not needed here.” I hadn’t sat there in my pity party 5 minutes before here comes this fella needing some soda and chips and we start talking. He sits down and we had an amazing conversation about many things he was struggling with in his world and I offered what I could and it was an amazing experience. It was also God saying, “Yes, My daughter, I can use you.” “Your broken pieces are what make you beautiful.” He just now said that to me, I feel so very loved at this moment in time. Tears are flowing down my face. There was a point to this story…hmmm…scrolling up…

That turned into an amazing journey with the youth at that church, who grew into young adults and many are actively serving Jesus to this day. We learned more and more right along side of them as we traveled to conferences and retreats and ministry training trips. I remember my first worship experience at Liberty University. I was floored because here were all these kids worshipping and jumping and dancing and praising God and no one was stoned or drunk or anything just amazingly excited about Jesus! (I was a Capitol Center teenager.) It was clean and good and joyful and exciting and I’d never seen anything like it. We served very actively there for about 6 years and then served at another church in the youth program for another 3 years. God took that broken period of time to put us to work for Him and He is still being glorified in it today. The work you do for Him is forever work, multiplying work.

The point being that our Father took that opportunity of brokenness and put me into an intense period of experiencing Him and learning about Him in ways that could never have happened but for that heartbreak, that excruciating get me to the next second pain. I’d be at work and have to be repeating scripture over and over in my mind just to hold it together.

As I fill my days today, trying to hold it together, seeking to understand all that has gone before and is happening now, I am again filling up notebook after notebook with sermon notes and notes from the tv.newlife.com segments. If I had had that back in the 80’s our life may look much different now. I wouldn’t know my Jesus like I do, though. He is again leading me to pursue knowledge, about Him and about this insidious situation we are in. We don’t know how or where it will lead but I know He will be glorified in it and I am excited about the future. Off to Ephesians 6!!!

Shame and hiding and hiding and shame…

I’m noticing a new possibly not healthy pattern emerging in my life…..

We are so committed to bringing our story public but it’s hard. It’s hard for me to do and I’m not even believing Tim is willing for it all to be out in the open. It took 32 years for him to openly confess anything with a pastor present. Now he is fine with me writing about it for the entire world to see? That is a pretty radical change and I’m praying it means that true healing will really happen and we won’t be going any further with an attorney than the quit claim. They say it will actually be a Special Warranty Claim but I haven’t researched the difference yet. Sorry for the tangent…

What I’m noticing is that I’ll write these posts and publish them and then I seem to be going into hiding after that, afraid of the response, the backlash, ashamed…shame is crippling. However…for over three decades I walked this road mostly alone with no one to tell. For much of it I didn’t even know I was being mistreated and believed I deserved it. Oh to have had a voice of reason, of sanity, to walk with me through this. Several are ideal because this is a wretched and draining path. Someone who had gone before and knows the pitfalls, knows what works and what doesn’t work. This has been a lonely road so if I have to go hide under the bed for three days after I share the next chapter in this ongoing journey with fellow sojourners, so be it. Exaggerating, our very high bed would indeed make an amazing hiding place but it is currently stuffed with boxes packed for moving.

Today I am recognizing this pattern and will be checking and responding to many facebook notifications, scary ones! I don’t know what they say! So with courage I will go read my bible, brush my teeth, take the dogs for a walk, feed them and ….go look at facebook…sometime today…

Praying for all of you out there on this broken road with me, begging you to return to favor!

Lord, let my words bless and not curse, speak life and not death, always. Let Your Spirit flow and comfort and forgive and correct and convict us all of everything that is not from You. Father, let me do no harm. I love You and thank You for loving me first, wretched human that I am, Your daughter who You cherish anyway, Sherry.

It just got really real…and unreal…

At Restore ( www.newlife.com, www.rlforwomen.com) I learned that I could request Tim to file a Quit Claim Deed that would release any claim he had on our home while still being legally obligated to the mortgage, as we both are. An addicts behavior can sometimes take a radical u turn that you never saw coming so this adds a bit of security to the situation. Tim has been and still is willing and now even wanting to get that done. He wants me to feel safe.

Things were going so well when I returned from Restore that it became what I thought was a moot point. As various destructive behaviors in this cycle keep re-emerging the need for the quit claim for me to feel safe has become imminent. Tim says he is completely on board and I believe him. He understands that he has a way to provide for himself but I would need to start again at the bottom and JC and Me might never come to fruition in that case. I had been leaving this ball in his court and the first appointment we canceled and then we forgot about the second. He made calls last week and it sounded like it was going to be really complicated so yesterday I called a lawyer to finally get this done.

They said it would be a free consultation to ascertain exactly what we needed and find out how to proceed, they had an opening at 2:00 could I make it? I told them Tim wouldn’t be able to make it by then and I got put on hold. When she came back she said that typically in these situations they don’t meet with both parties because if a separation and divorce follows they wouldn’t be able to represent either of us. Conflict of interest. Now this felt like the rubber hitting the road…is this where we are? Going and getting it done felt like the right thing to do, an empowering thing to do, so I took the appointment and went. I’m driving and thinking, “I’m about to go meet with ‘my’ potential divorce attorney, our marriage could end? The future might really be to go forth without him? I’m meeting with an attorney?!?! To protect myself from the man who is supposed to die for me if necessary?” Reality at times stinketh.

I got done there in time to catch a call from Tim who was headed to Wal-mart but had gotten a bunch of meat on sale and could I take it home so it wouldn’t be sitting in the truck? He meets me in the parking lot of my lawyers office and we kiss in greeting as always and say I love you as always and he hands off the meat and we head our separate ways to meet up at home shortly. This is simply surreal…

“…out of the darkness and into the Light…Part 2”

…or is that darkness…or is that light? In struggling to overcome and accept our present situation I have dived into tv.newlife.com to try to understand all that has been happening and why and how to recover and so on. To have Tim watch and see the places of abuse and have my symptoms listed in front of us for him to understand the damage that has been done over time and be broken over it is the only place we can begin to heal. Any reversal of that puts me back in unsafe territory, which happened last night. This brought a new tool out of the darkness and into the Light so I’m going to stand on God’s promises to me to redeem us both from it. I’d already watched a segment on Gas Lighting yesterday and had taken extensive notes on it and definitely saw where this had been used several different ways in previous interactions with quite a few people actually. “Keep lying until they believe you” is becoming ever more common these days.

We had a conflict last night. I had sensed it coming and stopped Tim and told him and asked him to please not go there because it was kind of distressing, causing some anxiety. He agreed but later went there anyway. My radar is uber sensitive to deception now and when I reminded him about earlier he went into denial. I went over what I had thought happened and he agreed but then a few minutes later changed it to he never acknowledged and said I didn’t know what I was talking about, that he’d never ignored my request and crossed my  boundary. He was very defensive and minimizing. By now my red flags are blurring my vision and bells and whistles are going off in my head and I am horrified to realize that my husband is gas lighting me right there! He’s getting louder and I’m getting louder and having talked about flooding earlier in the day he finally calmed down where we could talk, sort of. The horror of it is this has been going on since before day 1 in one way or another and I’m wondering why I’m depressed?

We watched the Gas Lighting segment by Dr. Sheri Keffer and Tim’s eyes were opened to what he’d been doing to me for so long. The very things he has been displeased with me about are the very symptoms of this kind of abuse. She makes it very clear, it is psychological abuse. I am a textbook model of the result. Get educated in these things, examine these things that your soul is crying out to fix. Our only hope out of this together is Tim’s heart truly recognizing and repenting of what has been happening and that appears to be true. It is often said at New Life that we are to be Fruit Inspectors when it comes to our addicted spouses. Words mean nothing. I am encouraged though by his horror at his manipulation of truth for so long, by what appears to be a truly repentant and broken heart. Pray y’all!

“…out of the darkness and into the Light…” Part 1

I also watched Brene Brown on Shame and a short on Blame. Vulnerability is scary. We’ve made a commitment to ourselves and to our Lord to share our journey so that others may know they are not alone. That means even when it gets really ugly. We believe that somehow Jesus will redeem all this trauma that has gone on in our lives and transform it into something that helps someone somewhere. When I was in the depths of betrayal and rejection I yearned for someone that had walked this road before and somehow come out on the other side. I needed and wanted that but there were few who would even admit they had gone through being betrayed. You could kind of see the look though, the slight tension around the edges and the wariness, assessing any threats… It was interesting that on the way to Restore in Denver I knew which women were also attending as we rode the shuttle. Eyes downcast, a bit hunched as if to protect that place from more pain, composed but barely. We saw into each others souls and were drawn to connect a little, just a little, on the shuttle… That first session I stood near the front of the room and looked at all the hurting souls, moving carefully, unsure of what is coming, not daring to hope. Way too many hurting souls, the pain was palpable, overwhelming. It began in darkness but quickly the darkness was overcome as we began to unpack what had actually happened to us. Light had been let in to our darkest places and we were not alone and there were those who’d walked before there to lead us through to the Light. So if in sharing we prevent one person from anything near what we have experienced it is worth it. We love you and are praying for you. This is for the men, too. Tim is now coming face to face with someone he doesn’t like and it’s hard and it’s worse than we imagined but we are both owning it. For my husband to stand in the truth of what has been our lives up till now and take responsibility and seek help to change, to learn how to never do these things again and admit he is powerless to change without the Lord Jesus Christ walking us through some very dark places we did not want to see, much less believe they were true…that has to be Jesus. Truly it all changed for him with Every Man’s Battle where he began to get some empathy, to see truth…

Back in the beginning of September the Lord led me by various means to John 12 and further on through John 15 or so. I’d been posting about the Holy Spirit and several devos I follow and friends were all speaking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  I was focusing on this scripture purely from the desire to explain Who dwells within us and wasn’t looking for a message or a revelation from Him who loves me, Sherry. Yes, brother John, I will claim this title as well! It is truth!

23″And Jesus *answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his [h]life loses it, and he who hates his [i]life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone [j]serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone [k]serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

There are, on occasion, times when while reading scripture something changes as though to really emphasize something and this is what happened as I read. It was as if I was there in that place with Jesus and His beloved disciples. His love for them and His anguish for them was so very evident as He attempted to explain to them what was about to happen. They would interrupt with questions, almost as frightened children would and that showed they were not getting it as He kept trying to tell them it was going to be horrible but that it was the very best way! That the work they had done together in His ministry was going to be multiplied exponentially but He had to die this horrible death to pay the penalty for our sin first. He’d then be able to return to us as the Holy Spirit so that all could receive His gift and join His Loving Family. Jesus knew the pain and doubt and fear that was coming and He was trying to make it better. Oh how He loves us…Oh how He loves me.

As events began to unfold that week and the next, in three separate blowups that have been horrible triggering events, it has become clearly evident to me that Jesus was telling me that He is and was heartbroken about what I was about to go through, am still going through. It was something that had to happen though, it all had to die in order to have the possibility of living and He was showing me that as well. Essentially, two blow ups were almost two weeks apart and they indicated how far we have not come and have triggered me horribly and shown me that I am not in the safe place I’d thought. Smack in the middle there was a family blow up which we were not equipped to deal with and essentially every sacred relationship is extremely damaged, seemingly beyond repair. It has to die to live, right? Our Jesus’ paradoxes are amazing and I will trust Him though the reality of this world has changed yet again. I’d rather fall down now in truth than continue walking in a lie.

First appointment with my therapist after these events was more like an hysterical retelling of three traumas but the next we got to talk about it all more calmly, sort it all out a bit. Near the end of our session I asked the question, “Am I a narcissist?” She asked me why I would ask that and I told her that I’m often accused of being all about me, being jealous, not seeing things right, analyzing too much, etc. She said, “No, you are not a narcissist, you are a victim of ….” What? I’d watched the segments on tv.newlife.com about Narcissistic Victim Syndrome and spotting a narcissist and so on, all in the light that I was the narcissist. I was fully ready to accept that this was who I was and that I’d done all this damage to my family because I could then fix me, who everyone has said is broken. Yes, I am broken and I don’t need anyone else to tell me how broken I am anymore. This was the day of my last post because I just couldn’t talk about it. Tim could be a narcissist? I’m a victim? What? I’m not the bad guy? Throughout our relationship everything that was wrong in our world was my fault, this was slow and subtle and in the beginning I had some fight but after the first big affair I just started taking the responsibility. I wasn’t a good wife so he had to cheat. Over time and much more heartache I began believing that our family would be much happier without me. I need medicine and take up resources and make everyone angry, of course they’re right, it’s all my fault, I’m all that is wrong in the world of those I love most. This has rocked my world, Tim’s world, this horrific truth, which as we learn ever more kind of just gets worse…