Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hurts


It is a slow realization, an indication of my own limitations, that my wife is ill.

It has been difficult to see past my own hurts, those of long ago as well as the recent injuries, to see the wounds on her.

I see that my life with her has frequently been marked by the evidence of those hurts, but I was too immature, too self centered to see.

I have been contemplating a divorce for some time. But I am starting to see things in a slightly different light.

First, when I think about dissolving this relationship I worry about what it would mean to her. It would mean she would have a very difficult time housing and feeding herself. It would mean that her physical ailments may go untreated without my insurance. It would mean her psychological ailments would also go untreated. I care for her. I love her. I cannot do that to her.

Next, I am beginning to see that her actions are not only hurtful to me, to others, they are also self-destructive. She is so hurt, so angry, that she is willing to lash out at herself in ways that would harm her forever.

My wife is ill.

How can I abandon her when she needs me most? It does not matter that I have been hurt. You cannot blame an epileptic for the injuries one gets from the flailings of a seizure.

This is not easy for me. But perhaps that is an indication that it is the right thing to do. Doing the right thing is often difficult. The wrong thing is often easy.

I will do all I can to protect my family, my children, myself, my wife.

I am seeing she is afraid of growing old. She is afraid of living a life that is about caring for others, our mentally handicapped children, her schizophrenic mother.

I am seeing that this affair of hers was about the fears in her life.

I see her controlling nature has been about her hurts. When a person grows up in chaos there is a strong impulse to reorder the world around her. This is even truer for eldest children who have been given too much of the responsibilities their parents should have kept.

My wife needs healing. Her infidelity was not only a hostile act toward me, it was a hostile act toward herself, her future.

There are ghosts of hope sliding in and out of our conversations. Perhaps they will become more tangible.

I can’t quit on her.

8 comments:

wilsonian said...

I read truth here.
You're on a good (if sometimes painful) path, friend.

Ame said...

"I see her controlling nature has been about her hurts. When a person grows up in chaos there is a strong impulse to reorder the world around her. This is even truer for eldest children who have been given too much of the responsibilities their parents should have kept."

That's me, too. All of it.

When such terrible things happen to us as children, we are frozen at that age. We are forced to "grow up" yet are physiologically unable to do so, so we adapt with coping mechanisms that God graciously gives us. Finding ways to control the parts of our environment that we can is a huge part of that.

Over time, our bodies do grow up, but inside, we're still that little child. It takes someone who really knows what they're doing to show us who we are in that place, to grow us up, and to show us that we're not that little child anymore. My counselor would often tell me, "You're an adult now. You don't have to .... You can .... You can protect yourself. ..." I know it sounds strange to those who cannot imagine having lived this kind of life, but that's "news" to those like me.

One night, as I was falling asleep, I heard crying. I realized it was "My Little Girl," as I call her. So in my mind I picked her up and cared for her and told her that I was here, now, to take care of her and to protect her, and she never has to be unprotected again. That was an incredible gift God gave to me. I learned the "adult" Me could care for the "child" Me.

Another gift that God gave me was the gift of praying for My Little Girl. I have suffered great pain when I have thought of the reality that there was no one praying for me when I was a little girl, no one protecting me. One day God showed me that since He is not limited by time or space, my prayers are not, either. So I prayed for her knowing that God took my prayers and cared for her with them.

It's still so hard to remain in my mental "adult" sometimes. It's not a natural place for me to be. It's a continuous struggle.

I cannot remember her name, but I heard a woman on Focus on the Family Radio once who was born in an Asian culture and was abandoned and hated. Missionaries adopted her as a child. She fought against them and was mean to them. She said something like, "Why would I be so angry toward this love that I have longed for all of my life?!" I understand that.

Not only has Brenda experienced all this negative, but in the process she was not taught how to receive love. Accepting and absorbing your love is not something she knows how to do.

I so long to be loved again ... but I fear not being able to receive love. Not only did my parents abuse and reject me in many ways, but my ex also.

One of the most poignant moments in counseling was when my counselor told me to ask God where He was when I was being abused. That was painful and excruciating. But I finally did ask God where He was when I was being abused, and when I was ready, He showed me.

Truly, my life is a miracle. God has protected me and healed me and sustained me and carried me and surrounded me all of my life. Even during and through the abuse. I know this is true. He showed me in visions so vivid I could draw them for you ... where He was while I was being abused.

All of my life my heart and body and mind and soul have longed for and craved to be loved. I may never experience that love in this lifetime, though I hope that is not true, but I will experience it in heaven. You have the ability to give Brenda that gift in this lifetime.

Her path is long and treacherous. There will be nothing quick or short or easy about it. To choose to stick with her is a choice for the long, arduous road she must traverse.

bjk said...

It takes strength to be certain, It takes courage to have doubt

Blessing this Christmas and a 2008 filled with Him. love in Christ becky

curious servant said...

Copied from an email I sent to a friend:

I've had my suspicians about Brenda keeping to her agreement.

So I called him.

He answered.

We spoke.

He told me she dropped by his work Wednesday.

But, that is all.

I think he was basically telling the truth, though he was coloring it a little.

I was upset when Brenda came home, though I tried to hide it.

She sensed it, repeatedly asked me what was wrong.

I told her I was suspicious of her activites, that she was keeping her word.

She acted a little offended, wondered how we would ever be able to rebuild trust. I told her I thought it possible.

So... I'm calmer now. I told her a little of my views as expressed in my last post.

What a mess.

None of this has my interests at heart.

It is Christmas. I will keep that in mind.

I'm doing a picture on the stage during the Christmas services this Sunday. It's going to be a little different. Instead of paint I'm going to use markers.

It is going to be the nativity with the focus on the animals.

Hope it works out.

Sorry to ramble...

--end copied email--

I still stand by this post... it is just a lot of hard work to do so, which guess was the point of the post.

Merry Christmas my friends

Ame said...

There is always a line, Will. God drew many lines and stood by them. She may be sick, but she still has choices. This may sound contradictory to my previous comment, but it's not. There's a balance. Finding that balance is the really had part. It's just all hard. All very hard.

Anonymous said...

I agree with ame in above post. I hope you have someone helping you to define the lines and choices. Some lines cannot be crossed again.
love you immensely and have enormous respect for you.
Sometimes love must be very tough.

Amrita said...

Dear Will, I am praying for you and hurting for you both too, like I do for my sister.

Since you are an artist, I want to tell you that I 've got an old british painting on my blog, maybe you 'd like to have a look.

Jada's Gigi said...

Prayers and blessing to you my brother, God guide and strenghten you and show you the lines to stand by and the stuff to die to. Only He knows which for each situation but He is there still. i think He must care a great deal for Brenda...to work so hard to reach her..and for you, to give you such an opportunity to be Him in this situation...not an easy or earthly task for sure. God be with you and your family today and tomorrow and on and on...A Blessed Christmas to you.