My husband is NOT the enemy!
I know what is causing all the chaos and strife in my home and in my heart right now. I know the source of the pain and grief. I know the source of relief and deliverance. It's just not coming together as I would have hoped.
I've been having discussions about the difference between recovery and healing. It's been interesting to get different perspectives on these two terms. Often they are used interchangeably. To me, they are very different.
One friend used these definitions
Recover: Return to a normal state of health, mind or strength; to find or regain possession
Heal: To become healthy or well again; to restore to original purity or integrity
I loved these definitions. Actually I loved her whole take on this topic. I found it interesting that we have been working on similar posts. Great minds? (Maybe I can get her permission to link her post here. I think you'll enjoy her thoughts. When she's ready to share them.)
Over the past few weeks the topic of healing and recovery have run a continual thread through the discussions between H and I. We are not on the same page -- at all. I feel like I'm no where near where I need to be to give to him what he is looking for. He on the other hand feels like I need to be there. In a similar way, I need H to be in a place he isn't and doesn't feel he's ready to be.
This makes me feel crazy.
It frustrates H.
I often feel like the rat in the wheel. I go round and round and get no where.
Right now, the only thing I know to do is to go back to the beginning and start again with the process. I know I'm not healed. I know there are gaping holes inside me. There are pieces of me yet to be found, knowledge still unlearned. I've heard it said that recovery isn't an event, it is a process.
There's a great article here where I read this comment: "Healing from the impact of betrayal is not a linear experience that starts out with the pain of discovery and then automatically feels better with time. Instead, it’s a unique journey for each couple based on several factors such as the unfaithful partner’s willingness to tell the truth, previous betrayals, duration of the affair, and other factors."
1. Not a linear experience
2. Partner's willingness to tell the truth
3. Previous betrayals
(and there's that last one: 'other factors')
My story wraps around each of these points, several times.
For me, it feels a lot like"
Shell Shock (noun) psychological disturbance caused by prolonged exposure to active warfare, especially being under bombardment
Or maybe this:
Stress breakdown: is a psychiatric injury, which is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation
This seems to fit too:
Trauma, which means "wound" in Greek, is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope or integrate the emotions connected to that experience.
Which ever term we go by, it is going to take some time to work through. And on a good note here, time is what we have going for us.
And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, ..."
However, Elder Joseph B. Worthlin warned us about our time here: "The days of our probation are numbered, but none of us knows the number of those days. Each day of preparation is precious."
While my precious pieces of time pass with each moment and each experience, I'm trying desperately to heal that wound caused by the trauma of betrayal.
In a talk by President Thomas S. Monson made these two points regarding grief:
What Is Grief?
Grief Is Painful, but Do Not Avoid It
My questions is how do I get through this ^^^^^ to feel more like this vvvvv??
A marriage, eternal in duration and God-like in quality does not contemplate divorce.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said; " Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us."
A particularly favorite message of mine is found in 2 Nephi 2: 1-2: " And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.
I love that promise: "Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for they gain."
I know how awesome and great Father in Heaven is. I know that he can take my afflictions and turn them in to goodness (gain). That 'gain' of healing and hope would be a consecration of the afflictions of this marriage. I know this comes through the healing power of the Atonement.
As I stated in the beginning, my husband is not the enemy. Though maybe in years past I saw him as such. I know that the struggles we face currently come in great measure from the workings of the Adversary who would like nothing more than to see H never return to full membership. He'd like nothing else than to see this marriage and family dissolve once and for all. In my mind I know why this struggle is so very hard. If I could just get my heart and my head to align this struggle might feel more conquerable.
Too often I feel stuck. Too often I feel the broken-ness of our communication. The effects of addiction on the brain are real. Every day feels like a battle to get past the gas lighting and blame-shifting to what is the truth and then to navigate the issue at hand with truth-based principles.
Too often my method of 'managing my safety' looks to H like I'm controlling everything he does. It is difficult to speak the same language here making conflict resolution feel impossible.
I find myself constantly asking how do I take the knowledge I've mentioned above into the difficult and often explosive battles of day to day life with a recovering addict?
That question brings me back full circle to: what is recovery and what is healing?
The only answer I have is that recovery is my process to find that healthy state of heart and mind. Healing will be when I feel restored to my original purity and integrity. When individually I feel restored and our marriage feels restored.