Hello. Thank you for stopping by to sit with me today.
This is not a polished presentation. This is a conversation, in which I am going to change as few words as possible after they leave my mouth. I just want to talk to you.
Both of my last two blog posts (Photoshoot and Running) are true pictures of my family. There is great pain and great beauty side by side in my home, and neither destroys the other. Unfortunately. Fortunately.
So – there are a few things I need you to know after Running. One is that my husband did not make a disclosure here for his own sake. His confessions have happened elsewhere, and brought light. He offered to do it in love for me, because I hate feeling like something I’m not and I couldn’t breathe anymore in this space without speaking about parts of it. I know if I hint at pain you’ll be like, what’s wrong? Your son isn’t doing well? You’re having more heart problems? You’re grieving former foster children? He was willing for me to talk about it to you in any way I felt comfortable, but I couldn’t do it. I tried over and over, and the words would not come because they weren’t mine to speak. I have enough sins of my own that I’m not really in a position to confess anyone else’s.
Act of love. That is what I am trying to say. And I’m really grateful.
But the big thing that I need you to know is that there’s a lot of the story you won’t see, at least while it’s happening. The last thing I want is to post updates on how it’s all going. But I will share pieces as they come. Just please know there is a lot more going on than what will appear on the surface.
More consequences, for one thing. I may talk respectfully, but I’m as hurt and angry as the next woman at what was broken between us. Church life has become a place both of healing and of pain, as my husband steps down from church leadership for an extended time, possibly one year. It matters to me that my church friends see me being what I really am, here – not carrying on in this space as if the sailing is smooth and the view all rosy posy.
But not only more consequences, also therapies. My husband wants to be clear that he is doing more to address the issue than running and listening to podcasts. He says anyone who thinks they will solve their problem by gathering more information is still in denial. (I might have messed up that quote, I’m not sure. It’s close.) There are good men walking with him, and he with them. There are many steps taken, much trust gained. Accountability, connection, brotherhood.
We faced the issue of pornography many years ago, and the devastation and loss of personal worth were severe. It changed nearly everything about the way I saw myself, even in ways it shouldn’t have. Finding out that it was not in our distant history as I thought, but has been instead a recurring bedfellow, shattered things for me. But I didn’t lose it all. We still have what we’ve built, these past almost-seventeen years. It has significant cracks and translucencies in it – but it’s still intact. Still precious. And he self-disclosed voluntarily, in the end. This means everything to me.
So we will go on from here, and I will tell you what I feel will help. I won’t tell you all of it, and I do not think you would want me to. I know I don’t want me to. My point is that I welcome you to see what you see, and say what you say, but at the same time I don’t expect you to fix or heal or offer primary support. Our real life people (some of whom are you. some of you are whom. whatever.) are still here, and are how we will find our way.
Thanks for being so super kind and supportive. Your words blessed me, and the genuine love behind them. I’m sorry we aren’t as good of people as we wish we were. We all need a lot of Fatherlove. At least I do.
Okay, I think that is all. I am grateful to be able to draw in air again.
Speaking of which, I’ve found a lot of useful side effects in wearing face masks, these past months. They mitigate bad breath. Magic. They hide bored expressions and accidentally snarky lips. I don’t fake as many smiles. They are really, really good with tears. Only an inch or so of visibility, and then – gone. You don’t even have to wipe them, which makes public worship a lot simpler for me. It has always been a slightly emotional and runny affair for me. Now, much more so.
In bigger ways, of course, the division, isolation, and anxiety of Covid-19 has much complicated our recent experience. I am trying to look on the bright side.
And while I am disclosing, I might mention that signing a book contract right before major life upheaval is not on my list of recommendations. So tuck that away for your future. I didn’t think I was going to make it through, but I am. I really am. I’m on track, and heading down the finish line of the first draft. Worrying like mad. Collapsing every few days into the certainty that it is actually completely and one hundred percent an irremmedially – irremidal – is the opposite of remedial not a word? okay, an impossibly worthless piece of junk. And then dusting myself off and trying again. I’m praying I get a really, really talented editor.
I tried shutting up about five paragraphs ago, and I’m still yakking, so – I’m good now.
Thanks for listening. Say a prayer for us. Send me chocolate. Whatever you think will help.