My D-Day (Discovery or Disclosure Day)
It was the winter of 2015 when I started feeling like something was off. My little sister was living with us at the time, and I felt like I needed to focus most of my attention and emotional energy on her.
Charlie was working on his second semester of graduate school and when he was gone to class, I felt starving for him. Homework, house work, full time work, nanny jobs, sister talks, taking care of the baby, and a deteriorating relationship with a close family member, kept us busy and emotionally preoccupied.
Even when we did have time to talk, often times, we didn't know what to say. I started feeling unsafe around him and unable to express my feelings. I had never struggled with that before! He was always a safe haven to escape to, but I couldn't figure out for the life of me, why I didn't know what was going on in my head and heart anymore. I felt crazy and broken, and I blamed myself. I was depressed, I didn't know why, and I didn't know how to stop.
There were other warnings too. Like when Charlie would say something that lead me to believe that he thought he was better than me. It seemed like I had fallen from grace in his eyes and I felt invisible to him. Or when he wasn't honest about a seemingly small matter. It was a big deal to me, because I felt that if he couldn't be honest with me about the small things, how could I trust him with more important matters.
I had know about his history with addiction before we were married, and I asked him occasionally how he was doing. He always reassured me that he was doing fine.
One night I couldn't take it anymore and I started listing my frustrations to him. I realized, as I was saying it, that his actions lead to only one thing: immorality. Desperate and defeated, I asked him if there was someone else???
He looked shocked that I would suggest such a thing and responded with, "No." But then, his countenance changed when I asked, "Are you sure?" His shoulders and head sank. That night I comforted him.
It was the morning of the next day, a Saturday. I didn't want to get out of bed. The night before, I had said that I forgave him, but that was a rash thing to say since I hadn't even given myself time to feel the magnitude of what was just discovered. The day was spent crying with my head on the table, crying in my bed under the covers, crying in my closet, a very vocal conversation with my step-mom over the phone that included, but was not limited to me saying I hated Charles and I never wanted to see him again.
The next several months were a roller coaster as we tried to sort through the chaos that addiction brings. There was a time when I wanted to break everything in my house because it all felt like a lie. EVERYTHING. I wanted to tear down the curtains and smash all the decorations. I felt hopeless and I felt stupid that I didn't realize I was being conned, even if he didn't fully intend to deceive me ( addicts are great at justifying their actions).
I had some beautiful experiences of asking for God to help carry by burdens and to take away my pains, and He did. Every Time. He gave them back when I could take them again, because I know that I still needed to learn from them.
Several months went by and we decided to kick start our understanding of addiction. We started reading articles, we started attending 12 step meetings (SA: Sexaholics Anonymous and ARP: Addiction Recovery Program). We found rowboatsandmarble.org This opened up our horizon for hope and healing. The A B C's of pornography helped us see that if we got to the root of addiction-unresolved emotional traumas-we could eliminate the distraction-lust-therefore, wipe out needing to "act out"-pornography (in any form).
We were a couple on a mission! We found a therapist through addorecovery.org for Charlie and I registered for bloomforwomen.com. I learned about betrayal trauma and slowly, we made our way towards order and peace.
Fast forward several years complete of angry midnight drives, rivers of tears, desperate prayers, and the darkest moments of both our lives, we feel like we have never felt more peace or freedom within our own hearts.
While the resources we look to are much different now ( basically everything we share in The Simple Recovery), we continue to grow individually and together as a couple.
Life is meant to be blissful and sometimes it takes being shattered in a million pieces to figure that out.