It's my birthday and a good time to reflect back just two 1/2 short years ago.
What I remember most is fear. After the cops came and the SWAT team came and the Secret Keeper yelled and screamed at me, the kids and the cops, from the roof of the building.....fear became my constant sidekick.
First and foremost, I feared the Secret Keeper. Looking back now, I think it was inappropriate but maybe not....but he did scare me then. I worried for my kids’ emotional well being...and whether they would question the choices I made. My job was somewhat inter-connected with the Secret Keepers and it felt precarious (it was not, but the voices in my head didn't agree). I worried about judgment from our community and how that judgment would affect both me and the kids. The idea that my financial future was partially in control of a very mentally sick man kept my stomach in twists so that eating and sleeping were impossible.
Something I have learned since then was that I was choosing fear. My mind automatically when to the "worst case scenario" instead of anything good. I did not say to myself, "Let's look for the positives in this situation." Every bad thing went through my head minute after minute. One thing would work itself out and I would dwell on the next.
If I were honest, I, at times in the previous 3 or 4 years, had wished that man dead. Ashamedly, in my loneliness and confusion, I wished he would have a bad car accident or the likes, so that I could be free. Now I know that was the chicken way out. I didn't want to be the one who gave up in the marriage that I promised to stay in sickness and in health. His condition, which he carefully hid from all of us, was far worse than we ever expected but he was very "sick". Aside from his illness, it had been years and years since we had had an interesting conversation. I relied on the kids to fill that place in my head that longed for a daily dialog consisting of more than "How was your day?" or "What shall we do this weekend?” As the kids started to leave, one by one, I looked ahead into the years to come with a sick feeling.
That was then.
I have learned about fear and shame. I have done my Al-Anon work. I have read and reacted and got counseling. The fear is still there but there is a buffer and that buffer is getting bigger and better. There is so much beauty in this world even in the darkest of times you can find it.
Please don't keep your fear glasses on.