Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier. ~ Barbara Kingsolver,
By Susan Olsen
Nothing in my life has rivaled the pain of that night. Mercifully, my two young children were three states away at summer camp, oblivious to the storm brewing at home, when my world fell apart. In the dark, previously safe haven of my master bedroom, my then husband told me he was a sex addict. In an instant, my past, present and future were shattered. My world would never be the same. I would never be the same.
I spent that first year bouncing wildly between complete numbness in which I mechanically went through the motions, and a pain that enveloped me completely. The depth of my emotions surprised and scared me. I had never felt such boundless rage, hopeless depression, or paralyzing fear. My grief was all-encompassing, there to greet me first thing each morning, and there as I drifted into fitful, nightmare-ridden sleep each night. I struggled to function in a world I no longer trusted, all the while trying to manage my home, comfort my children, and resurrect a once loved career. Even those who loved me most began to distance from me as they couldn’t understand why I didn’t “move on” or “get over it."
Every time I thought I was getting my footing, another disclosure shook me, transporting me right back to the beginning of any healing. It took years, and finally appropriate trauma therapy, unavailable to spouses in 2004, to fully grasp and accept the truth of what he had done, though I long ago gave up trying to understand him. HIs problem is no longer my destiny. We divorced in 2010. HIs enormous betrayals, present throughout our entire marriage, no longer monopolize my daily thoughts; I am free.
Though my life is radically different than I’d dreamed or imagined, in many ways it’s even better, with a peace, gratitude, and hopefulness that I’d not known before. My children have grown into beautiful, honest, self-sufficient young women, in spite of their tumultuous childhoods. My story, once so chaotic and terrifying, has come full circle.
Meeting Tania turned into yet another sweet piece of my healing journey, as I now have the opportunity to share my story and hope with the precious women who are in the throes of their own storms. There is victory and wholeness on the other side if you’ll just keep going and take the hands of those who’ve gone before. It is my deepest hope that Sweetwater will help lighten your burden and shorten the course of your storm.
I have crawled in your shoes and come out the other side at peace. Join us, won’t you? Let us help you through the storm!