As I’m walking out this new journey of living without my narcissist husband in the house, I’m starting to breathe again, little by little.
So while, as I’ve mentioned before, the emotions are a bit of a roller coaster, the more I move down this road, the more I feel safe enough to take stock of my situation, my life, and my heart.
And what I suddenly realized today is that I’m no longer striving, wishing, yearning, begging and pleading for the Lord to rescue me from what I can only describe as a giant Cloud of Bad. It’s not just that the Cloud itself has been my constant companion for years. It’s that the desire to be free of it had also taken up lodging in my heart.
And now it’s gone.
Because the Cloud of Bad is gone.
I really wish I had better words to describe that. I’m a writer. I should have better words. But when it comes to the Cloud of Bad, words fail me. My brain shuts down. I stammer, I forget what I was about to say only milliseconds previously. I literally stammered my way into calling it that the other day, in trying to explain this to someone. So Cloud of Bad it is.
I really wish I could explain this better. It’s just that now that I am out of that situation, I can look back and see just how bad it was – how heart-numbingly miserable, how desperate, how hopeless. One day I may find a more erudite term for it, but that day is not today.
The Cloud of Bad has done a number on me. Such a number, in fact, that it’s been two months since I asked my husband to move out and I’ve only just realized that I don’t have to ask for rescue any more.
Not that I’ve still been asking. I just hadn’t noticed I’d stopped.
But today I did.
And I realized too that while the Lord did not swoop in and miraculously transport me away from the Cloud of Bad, He has been with me every step of the way in dealing with it.
And I also realized (and this part makes me squirm a little) that the reason I wanted Him to rescue me, as opposed to simply taking the steps I was perfectly capable of taking, was that I knew that removing myself and my children from the situation would be a politically incorrect thing to do in the Christian culture in which we do life. But, you know, if God Almighty swept in and did a sovereign work, then it would be okay. I would be off the hook.
Because then no one could point the finger at me or question my obedience to or relationship with God for breaking the rule that Everybody Knows Is What Good Christians Do.
(Not to mention Speaking Ill of My Husband.)
The Lord did not see fit to let me get away with hiding behind Him and not taking responsibility for my life, however, so I ended up having to speak up for myself and say the hard things and deal with the fall-out.
Now that I have calmed down and started to really listen to what people are saying, that fall-out turns to be far less than I had anticipated, and the people who are walking with me through this, as I said in my last post, have turned out to be genuinely loving and caring. One might say Christlike. Who knew?
So while I had avoided taking on this responsibility for years, couching it in “holding the family together for the kids” and “I’m a Christian so I don’t believe in separation and/or divorce” and “I can’t separate because if I do I will have to quit both my jobs with faith-based institutions, according to the contracts I signed” and any number of other excuses, now that I have finally spoken up and owned my belief that this marriage is not functioning and that I should not be required to pretend it is, I am suddenly experiencing an amazing level of freedom.
Not freedom as in now that my husband is not around I can cast off all restraint and do whatever I please.
Freedom as in no longer having to utter that daily plea of “God please rescue me.”
And once I realized that, I realized that He has rescued me. Being God, the way He did it was not to “poof” into the situation and wave a wand, but to use me as the agent of rescue.
Which leaves the responsibility with me.
And also the freedom.
And I’m pretty sure He knew exactly what He was doing.