At one point, I promised writing on the bad days. Since this is walking-through-pudding rather than stuck-in-concrete, I’m going to give it a try.
The trigger: an encounter with the anti-husband. Came home to find him driving past my home. No words exchanged, couldn’t get a shot of the license plate. But he knew and I knew. Mocking email came the next day.
Fallout: Confusion, anxiety, bad dreams, physical pain. And I’m losing my words again.
Confusion—every thought ends in, ‘but my husband would say. . .’ which generally ends in some type of blaming. Confused enough at the moment I can’t come up with an example although this has been going on for several days now. I’m reminded of the scripture, “a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
Anxiety—like swallowing a vibrating rubber ball. Stuck right in the middle, won’t go down, won’t come up. Checking, double checking the doors, jumping at noises, obsessing over trivial things like whether the laundry got rotated. Everything feels overwhelming—how will I support myself at this age? What’s going to happen to the kids?
Bad Dreams—one after the other. Dreams of children closed up in dresser drawers. Holding babies I’m not sure are still alive, getting left behind, tops of feet covered in blisters. Wake up, get water, visit the little girl’s room, go back to bed, dream starts up all over again without skipping.
Pain—neck is tight. Upper back is tender to the touch. Stretching my arms out wide causes so many joints to pop it startles the dog. Migraine threatening, hovering close. Old wounds inside are throbbing.
Word Loss—this one’s hard to explain. It starts when I can’t finish a sentence. This kids try to fill in my thoughts and I pick like multiple choice. “I need to head to the drugstore and get—“ Aspirin? Toilet paper? Shampoo?– “Shampoo! That’s it.” If it sets in for long, I won’t be able to write. Answering email’s out of the question except for a quick reply. Editing this, or any other post is laughable.
- I’ve talked via email with a couple of friends about the inciting incident. Telling what happened, then listening to their advice provided concrete steps to take for safety.
- Called the massage therapist and set up an appointment, hoping to break this cycle of physical tension. I live in a big town and we have schools I can afford. The piggies go unpainted this quarter.
- I’m painting with the music cranked. Working through the process of a few watercolor flowers seems to help.
- Praying. Lots of praying.
Thankful in All Things
A reminder’s in order that this was my continual state of being for most of three decades. This little spell’s been going on less than a week. And what started it? The near proximity of the anti-husband. No words exchanged, not heated debate. His email hit the trash bucket without reply. In some ways, it’s a good reminder of how toxic he is.
I haven’t gotten to fetal-position on the bed just yet. I can carry on a pretty decent conversation. I’m still taking phone calls and telling friends I’m fine.
At times like this, I also have to remember—the wounds from emotional/verbal abuse are very real. Healing takes time. And ultimately, the divorce that terrified me years ago will cauterize this wound and give me the freedom to move forward.