LEARNING TO PROCESS
After the incident, I became very private and didn’t talk about it to many people, nor was I open about it on my blog, until close to a couple years later. As I mentioned in the preface, it felt much safer to keep things locked up within my own heart and mind. I was also worried that if I talked about it, people would feel sorry for me and frankly, I just wanted to be alone. Though I didn’t express a lot publicly, I dealt with things on my own, as I needed. I learned through this process that expressing what I was going through “in the moment” was hard for some to hear, particularly those really close to me. It must’ve been hard for them to continue watching me suffer… So I learned whom I could talk to in the moment and whom I needed to hold off with until I was through that particular struggle and could express what I had learned from it also. I became very protective of my time and energy and I learned to manage it well. If I could keep my balance intact, the anxiety would be much more manageable. The word “NO” became a very comfortable part of my vocabulary. If something or somebody took too much of my energy, I would refrain from it/them. Not cause I was being rude, I just didn’t have a lot in reserve to give and I needed to preserve it for my main responsibilities. It was a matter of survival at that point. These were typically people who carried negative energy, or even activities that would take me away from my home for too long. I loved being in my own home; it was my sanctuary and it felt sacred to me. The spirit was so strong there. I felt the most peace and comfort within my own walls, that’s probably another reason why I just wanted to be there.
As life continued to move forward, about a month from the incident, I started experiencing yet something else that I didn’t see coming. By the day, it was as if I was losing 10 pounds. I actually was losing weight physically cause my body was in shock and I was exercising on a limited appetite, but the burdens of all that I had carried for the last almost eight years were being lifted off me. I didn’t know I was carrying them in the first place, or at least that they were as heavy as they actually were. I almost felt reborn again as I started seeing my old self come back out of me, that I didn’t understand I had lost. Even my family and friends had noticed… I was also overcome with an intense amount of relief as I realized I wouldn’t have to hide that anymore, I wouldn’t have to hear it, see it or deal with it, anymore. On an emotional standpoint, I had some work ahead of me, but through the Lord, I knew I would be able to overcome those struggles with time and be able to put them behind me. It was all very surreal.
PRESSURE and ANGER
Just as the burdens were being lifted, anger was overtaking me. The pressure was becoming more than I could even comprehend, coming at me in every which direction. The most disappointing part about it was when the directions were coming from areas I thought were safe to trust. I was already dealing with pressure in terms of every day life and having to figure out how to be a single mother, live, and provide on my own. This pressure particularly came from relationships that were strained in Josh’s life. When I realized what was involved, and what I had to deal with I started feeling angry with him. It was as if he left me here to deal with all his garbage, unfinished business, because he himself couldn’t handle it anymore. We were dealing with it together before, but now, I had to deal with it on my own… It was in these moments also, I was deeply grateful for the tender mercy I received that day I saw him for the first time. It was an even greater miracle and blessing to have had that witness of truth, confirmation of peace and to find so much resolution to all that was overtaking my soul. I was still moving forward with that same peace and understanding, as I had received that morning. Little did I know that that sacred experience wasn’t given to me to just help me through that moment, that week, but it was a constant companion that I learned to lean on heavily especially over the coming months, even years. It was my shield of protection and I carry that same peace with me today. This was yet another reminder that I wasn’t in this alone. I knew, yet again, the Lord was very aware of me and he equipped me with precisely what I needed. Another first of many over the years that I witnessed his protection and when I started gaining a testimony, that in his protection, I could not be defeated. In the weakest, loneliest most vulnerable years of my life, I had never felt safer.
ANOTHER MARRIAGE AND MORE REFINING MOMENTS
This next part is one I wished I could skip over, but it’s a huge part of my refining process and I can’t deny it. It’s taken some time, but I have learned to accept it and appreciate it for what I have gained from it and the deep-rooted understanding and testimony it has given me of my Heavenly Father and Savior and how they truly work in our lives.
It was hard adapting to life without a companion and being flooded with a bazillion decisions to make alone. A few months down the road, I was already grasping for that normalcy again, that family unit. Everyone else thought it was a little early, but even just after two months of single motherhood felt like an eternity to me. So of course, I started dipping my feet in the water… He was someone that I knew and that I trusted greatly. The relationship was an emotional rollercoaster ride, on again/off again, but somehow I couldn’t see past that. After 8 months, and now just a couple months shy of a year from the incident, I had made the decision to marry again. A decision I was not physically or emotionally ready to make. Nonetheless, despite what the Lord and everyone else was trying to tell me, it somehow seemed right. My family all hesitantly and lovingly supported me, regardless. Soon after our marriage, within a couple weeks, I found myself in a state of immense pain and regret. Based on what I was experiencing in the marriage, I could feel deeply that my decision was not where the Lord intended us to be. In fact, for the well being of Preslee and myself, I knew it was imperative to remove us both from that situation. It lasted 7 months; the annulment finalized just a couple months after. Preslee and I were yet again as we were before, this time with what felt like gaping wounds that pierced me through the very core.
PICKING UP THE PIECES
So now it’s November 2010, a year and 5 months since the incident. Preslee is now just over 2 years old. I was at an all time low in my life. I felt entirely hopeless and scared for myself, paralyzed by all that had just happened in a few short months. Painful feelings of deceit, regret, failure and feelings of guilt for all that I put Preslee through consumed me. I was angry with myself, I couldn’t believe I let that happen, and of course, I couldn’t believe that I put Preslee through yet another devastating situation. I could not see my worth. My mind had been filled with statements that haunted me for a long time, my heart buried miles into the dirt. I had completely lost my footing and I was falling, fast.
DIGGING DEEP ON THE FARM
It was a deeply spiritual, heart wrenching and emotional process. And it was at this time of my life I found what it truly meant to endure and how to really rely on the Lord. He was my only lifeline; the only one I knew could save me. It was also at this time that I discovered yet another gift I wasn’t aware I possessed. Now having experienced three major tragedies in just over two years, I could no longer process things silently or with a couple friends. I needed to release it in ways I verbally could not express and in that very moment I was feeling it. As such, I turned to my private blog and let it out through my fingertips. Writing was probably the most therapeutic avenue I had discovered yet. My family and friends were able to pipe in with their encouragement and words of wisdom, and those that didn’t understand or didn’t know how to respond, at least it gave them a window into my life as it really was, beyond the “I’m good,” with a smile. My house sold in just a couple weeks, for a fair price, a complete miracle and we moved out to a little farmhouse on my parent’s farm. It was indeed a farmhouse, complete with four little walls. My dad had gutted and refinished the inside of this little gem a few years prior and it had never been lived in. The outside still wore the stress of all the many years it had endured, it looked about how I felt inside, but the inside was quite the opposite, completely dressed in modern commodities and taste. Living there meant moving back to my hometown, and very few people were aware of what had just transpired. I had just seen them all dressed with happy smiles as they greeted me at the reception… And now, I get to break the news… to everyone. More of those wrenching feelings consumed me. I REALLY didn’t want to go to church and face all of them. That was probably the hardest part, but I had to be there for Preslee at the very least and I had to face the situation. I felt like an orange elephant in any room I walked into, just wondering who knew and who didn’t, what people were saying. My emotions were at the very surface… It didn’t take much for all that I was feeling on the inside, to come pouring out through my tears. Nonetheless, I held my head high and sported that “I’m good smile.” We lived there for 8 trying and enduring months. They were definitely the most humbling and excruciating moments of my life, as I really had to dig down deep to find and pull myself out of the state of anguish I was in. As I did before, I would release a lot with one friend in particular. I always felt better as I was talking with her and directly when I got off the phone, but I soon realized it wasn’t sustaining me enough. I thought I was relying on the Lord too, but truly, there was more work to be done.
CLICK HERE TO READ PART 4 – “LEARNING, GROWING, HEALING”.
Story written by: KayCee
This story was seen first on Real Imprints.