The three weeks before I left for the Blogher Conference were the heaviest. Everrrrrrrrr. I’m talkin’ heavy, heavy cinch sack. For the 1st time in my life -not just my adult life, but my entire life- I literally spent a whole night crying. One evening, at 10pm, I was “served” papers that I’m fairly certain will define and delineate a large portion of my previous and forthcoming decade. Life is now: The Time Before I Got Those Papers & Life After I Got Those God-Awful, Deeply-Painful, Utterly-Ridiculous, Character-Assassinating Papers. I have never set eyes on anything so remarkably evil as the words & insinuations on those papers & the deep betrayal from the one who served them. And after not sleeping, I cried on and off for the next 4 days. I swear to God -cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye- I have never felt the emotion of Betrayal so deeply.
Years ago, I remember learning that my Father had communicated to his family that he was wrongfully accused of the sexual abuse he served 9 years in prison for committing against me. My Dad, unfortunately never became repentant for his actions. He found ways little and big to make the whole episode seem overblown. The entire experience read to me like one big giant betrayal. I didn’t find out that a chunk of the family had believed him until after his funeral which…stunk. Up until that point in my life, I wasn’t exactly sure what it mean to feel the emotion of Being Betrayed. I guess I’d thought of Being Betrayed as being left at the altar or being cheated on. When I felt it though, I Knew I was Being Betrayed. It takes your breath away. And it’s exhausting navigating a betrayal after the betrayer is dead.
I was handed these papers at 10pm by the Betrayer who told me he was merely “following his convictions.” In other words, here is the most horrible and heinous content you will ever read in your entire life and for the record, it is justified.
This is only the 2nd time in my life I knew I was Being Betrayed –officially. And this is worse. I never actually trusted my Father. He started abusing me from such a young age. We never had a chance. But I trusted the one who wrote and served me these papers, but then again, we never had a chance either.
And so, for the 1st time in my life, I cried for 8 FULL hours without stopping.
I’m a crier, y’all. Thank God in Heaven, I’ve always been able to naturally and easily produce medicinal tears that have made it possible for me to survive. I don’t have to work for these tears, they just arrive like an on-time EMS. But even with being a crier, my eyes haven’t seen so many tears as they did a few weeks ago since 1997. My unofficial fiance’, Scott kept breaking up with me over and over again. When Scott broke up with me for the last and final of the total 5 times, it was the end of our dreams to be married on Aug. 25, 1998.
For those of you trying to do the math, yes, I would have been only 21 yrs. old. And, yes it would have been a HUGE disaster. And yes, let’s all give Scott a BIG hug for saving he & I from that potential nightmare. I digress.
Scott called it off one cold night in December & I cried myself to sleep. Scott had been the 1st guy to actually court me properly and respectfully. He was (is) a good Christian dude. He had resources and dreams that -at the time aligned with mine perfectly. There was ALL OF THIS HOPE in what I thought marrying him would be. The morning after Scott ended things with me, I cried and cried and I didn’t stop for 8 months. The months were a blur of tears and overly blabby journals about how much I loved him and begging God to move heaven and earth to bring Scott back to me because…well, because I THOUGHT that would make me happy.
I saw a counselor, I loathed to my girlfriends, I wrote out my feelings and I cried. Instinctively, I knew August 25th was coming and I had to get in front of it. August 25th wasn’t allowed to take me off guard. I wanted to know that I’d done the work of mourning, because mourning takes work. I’d seen other girls my age not do the work of mourning. They’d watched too many romantic comedies, drunk too much, smoked too much, sexed too much and all of it was eating them alive. So I cried.
August 25th came. It was a hard day. It was a sad day too in part because, LORD JESUS I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE SEX THAT DAY. Like most Christian couples we’d been waiting. And I’d vowed my “Secondary Virginity” to Jesus when I gave my life to him on April 27, 1996. So. It had been a long-@ass time & damn, I was ready for a husband AND sex. But the day came and went and the tears poured out like most other days.
Until one day, they didn’t, like a faucet, they turned off. It was a day in September or October, a mere 9-10 months later when my tears dried up. I saw Scott at the University bookstore and while I thought I’d run out screaming and thrashing I simply smiled and felt warm regard. Warm regard? I know right?! I felt warm regard. That’s all. No tears, no pain…just warm regard whatever the hell that is. I cried throughout the year intermittently —like when I found out Scott was headed to Afghanistan and had to make a will before he left– but for the most regard, the tears, the mourning had done their work.
If only our adult lives were as simple as the relationships and break-ups of 19 yr. olds who share little more than warm regards for one another. Scott & I never shared wedding vows, children, homes, cars or even our bodies. We shared mutual hopes and dreams & for that I paid 9-10 months of DAILY tears to get over.
Now? Now , I’m an adult and I was served papers that sent my soul reeling, my hopes dashed and every fear I’ve ever had came crashing down on my head.Now? Now, I’m living in The Time After I Got Those Horrible Gut-Wrenching, God-Awful, Lie-Laced Papers.
For the past few weeks, I’ve got out to run or walk at least three times a week. I ended up logging 18 miles in July, which isn’t great, but its something. I get my Vitamin D fix + the emotional benefits of pounding the pavement instead of allowing anger and fear to well up inside and crush. Running is like a faucet emptying all of the anger onto the road.
I got excited again about juicing and the elleventy-hundred health benefits. I was drinking so many fruits and veggies a day I was downright stuffed which, removed the constant desire to eat my stress away. Not only was I too full but I didn’t actually crave sweets which makes juicing a modern miracle. Watching the documentary, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead was a BIG motivation.
I decided come hell or high-water I was going to spend time with God every day, even if it was piddly or felt insignificant or desperate or fraudulent. I went back to my trusty Seeking God’s Face devotional and I’ve been unable to stop praying. There is a sheer amount of desperation I’m living in because my problems are also financial. If God wanted me to KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that I’m 100% completely dependent on Him, He’s doing a bang-up job! I have been reveling in His grace. I’m truly in awe. That 50 gajillion Blogher members made it possible for me to go to Blogher when I don’t have two pennies to rub together? Awe. That I had The Time Of My Life in the midst of The Hardest Time Of My Life? Awe. I love God. I love Him.
A few weeks ago, my friend Cindy asked, “how are you running and juicing and reading the Bible and not stuck under the covers eating chocolate doughnuts?” I said “Dunno. I just want to survive.”
Now I’m back from Blogher and there’s a renewed sense of anger and fear. I lost a week of running and juicing and spending daily time with the Lord (even though it was THE BEST WEEK EVER). Now I’m back and I’m still trying to find a job, still reeling from the fallout of those papers and every bit as angry as before but maybe more.
And now I look to A New August 25th.
On August 25, 2014 decisions will be made which will alter the course of my life significantly.
I didn’t run yesterday or today, in part because I’ve been with my boys and they aren’t old enough to be left alone, but not little enough to push in a stroller.
I made a juice, but the taste was off so I didn’t drink it. I had white rice instead, which is just the worst thing I could have done.
I’m not taking calls from girlfriends which is also not good for me. My friends lift my soul like nothing else.
I angry-ranted on Facebook twice, in part because this is a New Feeling: Being Betrayed When You Don’t Expect It and Didn’t See It Coming. Honestly? I have never experienced anything like this before. I simply haven’t known how to process it. Appointment to get back to my counselor? Check.
I revealed in my last post that not-that-long-ago I was The Betrayer. It’s been helpful to consider. I don’t believe in Karma, but I absolutely believe in natural consequences. My stance regarding My Betrayal is one of sorrow and regret. There is no justification for what I’ve done. I have no justifications, no excuses. My convictions are that affairs are 100% wrong & 100% regrettable. There isn’t likely a day that will go by that I won’t think to myself: what-in-the-hell-was-you-thinkin’-Chile?!
On August 25th, I will face what is -in part- a natural consequence of My Betrayal. The other 50% though? Pure crazy on a stick being justified as holier-than-thou convictions. I am Betrayer admitting I’ve Betrayed being Betrayed a Betrayer calling the Betrayal a message from God. It’s. Just. The. Worst.
Yet, I won’t give up on myself, y’all. Mistakes. Anger. Reeling. Inappropriate Facebook ranting. I will figure this out and I will rise a healthier, stronger woman if for no other reason than I refuse to allow two men to severely disable me.
I am a human being who has made mistakes. I am also a human being processing something that has literally never happened to me before and it is significant and it has significant ramifications. It is all new. It is ALL new for all of us.
As I look to August 25th, 2014, I’m letting myself cry. I’m even *gasp* letting myself be angry & a bit irreverent. I’m letting myself have white rice. I’m letting myself process Being Betrayed without playing the mental loop of Here’s-All-The-Reasons-You-Deserve-To-Be-Betrayed-Bish. I’m not letting anyone shame, judge, malign or respond to me in ways that do not first acknowledge that I have just received The Greatest Most Painful & Unexpected Betrayal of My Entire Life.
I’ve been blocking and unfriending people, deleting comments and such. It’s not that I’m unable to hear hard words or challenge or rebuke, but I need to hear it a certain way right now BECAUSE EVERY DAMN THING IS FRAGILE. I need to hear hard words, challenges & rebukes in the exact same way my counselor says them to me: with FULL understanding of the situation, compassion and an acknowledgement of the pain of the ENTIRE situation. Anything else simply begins a mental loop of shame.
I cannot afford to allow myself onto a mental loop of shame from people who claim to love me. I can afford to eat white rice, but that’s about as far as I’m willing to go. I can write off strangers because what do they know anyway. But friends? I will lose many friends right now, simply because I can’t afford for friends who only have half the gatdamn story to bumble around with messy judgements & messy words.
It’s like I told Cindy the other day. “Dunno. I just want to survive.”
Sometimes, you have to face days like August 25 with a ferocious grit that protects yourself like a Mama Bear.
I am hurting, wounded, confused and I will absolutely do what I need to do to survive….
…after I have one more bowl of nutritionally deficient white rice.