Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday's Tears - Mie, the Trauma Survivor

I know I haven't finished the introductions.  You still need to meet (or be introduced to) my oldest two kids.  I'll get back there I promise but I needed to stop and be very real with you all before I continue on this journey.  I'm extremely nervous to do so and intend to share enough at this point for you to understand what's going on around here without adding any additional stress to the situation.

Meet the newest trauma survivor in our family:

Our pastor has been going through a fantastic sermon series this year about real life and it's issues.  In one of the first messages on depression he stated the two most challenging things (stressful, painful, depressing, etc.) were the loss of a significant loved one (spouse, parent, child, sibling) and the loss of a job.  I sat there sobbing, like most other days at church recently, knowing that I'd experienced both within a week.

Most people in my life are aware that I was unexpectedly laid-off on 1/13/16.  As the primary breadwinner (80%) for a family of 8 you can imagine how drastic an impact that has been for us in so many ways.  We're very grateful for the faithful friends and family who heard the news and jumped in with encouragement and support.  A bunch of colleagues have reached out to show their love for mie.  I can tell many of them are worried about mie and my family.  They show concern and compassion.  They express disbelief.  Only a handful know the full picture - that this major life-changing event came just 8 days after my world fell apart.

My world fell apart.  That is not an exaggerative statement.  I'm not yet at a place where I can talk about it all freely with a sense of peace that I'd like to have someday.  That day I sat in the middle of the shampoo/conditioner aisle at Walgreens staring at the various bottles for 45 minutes.  I walked into an upscale salon at 6:30pm bawling and begging to take a shower in their steam shower, I'd pay whatever it cost (bless them for hugging mie, walking mie back to the shower, and letting mie stay "as long as I wanted" for free).  I found "whatever" counselor was available to talk to mie at our church's counseling office in the middle of the afternoon so I could get enough wherewithal to make it home for my babies that night without allowing my trauma-induced overflow to spill all over my sweet kiddos. 

1/5/16.  I could have never prepared for that day even if I'd tried.  A normal day by all accounts, getting back into the swing of things after the holiday break.  While looking for a file of foster/adopt conference presentations I offer to send to a friend putting together a large event, I came across an email, the contents of which were completely unexpected.  And devastating.  And not even remotely close to the worst of what was to come. 

Ultimately, through the day and over the next several weeks I learned about the true state of my marriage.  What I thought was a normal, mostly-happy marriage was anything but and more precisely was an all-too-carefully created image of deceit.  I learned that our marriage was infested (yes, that's the right word) with infidelity.  I have still yet to have full disclosure (a formal process in the se*ual addiction recovery process) so I do not pretend to know the full truth of it all but with what I do know at this point I can confidently say this has been "here" since well before we were married.  I'm sure I'll get into this more over time but for now the point is that this is my reality and it's left mie broken (as expected).  I was also gifted with actual PTSD.

Recap - In the first few days of the new year I lost my marriage (as I knew it), my husband (as I knew him), my understanding of my family/faith/beliefs/knowledge, and my sanity (as I knew it).  Just over a week later I lost my job, 80% of my family's income, my health insurance (and access to mental health treatment and the awesome recovery treatment my husband needs), my place away from my kids for a bit each day, friends & support network, and the general feeling of security that someone might have after working for the same company very successfully for nearly 14 years.  I also lost my legal program which gave mie easy access to some of the best attorneys in our area, most of whom I know well and could have called within minutes had I wanted to.  Losing my job also meant an ungodly amount of paperwork and legwork necessary to just keep things afloat like getting daily-required medication in the first couple weeks of a new year for my 3 special needs kids who needed a new primary insurance with secondary foster-care medicaid while I had very little coping skills and surety about my life.  And PTSD.  Just as an example.

Within a matter of days my entire life changed.  I am now a SAHM trying to figure out what the flip is next on 20% of the income we used to live on with my preschoolers going to school part-time.  Where I had a sense of control and really succeeding in life, being on the "right track", having a safe and secure family and marriage with a pretty awesome career, I now have just enough for today.  I'm in a bit of a desert, like Moses and the Israelites.  I have no idea what's coming.  I have no idea where my marriage will go.  I have no idea where my career will go.  I don't know what our financial situation will turn into.  I just don't know.

To add to the fun our second car has completely died.  We're now living as a family of 8 with daily therapy, 3 schools, activities, multiple special-needs dr appointments, with one car.  Then the microwave caught fire because, you know...they do that.

Let me not leave this post without sharing the ray of hope.  God had been preparing mie for change for a while.  I didn't expect this, but I knew something was coming so that alone has shown that God is here.  And He is.  He's provided for us in ways I keep learning every day and I'll struggle for the rest of my life to adequately describe.  My husband is in therapy.  I am too.  No promises, but I'm committed to walk the path toward wholeness and reconciliation, learning to trust God like no other time in my entire life.  I've been surrounded by just what I need from friends and family.  The church we moved to in the last year is unbelievably equipped to support our family in ways we wouldn't have even known to look for when we were called to move about a year ago.  God has given mie a new vision for my career (it's really, really fuzzy right now, but there...).  If nothing else right now I know that God is here, that He will never leave mie, that He loves mie.  He is my advocate and my defender.  I can rest in Him despite what seems to be unbelievable chaos around mie.

And that's exactly what I'm doing.


Anonymous said...

I'm am so sorry ��

Chasing Pure Simplicity said...

Praying for you guys during this time! About three years ago, sex addiction rocked our family - not my marriage, but my immediate family. It's been a hard journey, but there have been some good changes. Hugs to all of you! ~ Brit

Kaci Jo said...

Thanks for being brave and sharing. Praying for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Praying for you!