Painful memories

I’m clearing out some paperwork this weekend, a quiet activity in this 100-degree heat, and I have come across some old journal pages dating back to the time DH and I decided to separate. I had to sit down and read them – probably a mistake; it’s painful in the extreme to see how emotionally fragile I was by that point. I had two friends I clung to as to life preservers, both of whom have now gone on and I don’t even know how to contact them to thank them for keeping me from being utterly sucked under.

The wonder of it is, as I read these notes, there were two men who were very … shall we say, attentive? during this time, and somehow by the grace of God I didn’t fall  into an affair. I was terribly vulnerable for one – I was warned by a counselor working with James Dobson (Focus on the Family) that I was extremely high risk for one. But somehow it never happened.

Part of it was because I had a belief that God would give me a miracle and save my marriage if I were just a good gal and followed the rules. Part of it was because these two men – very human men and not particularly “principled” in that regard – apparently felt very protective of me and never pushed their advantage.

If they had, I’m not at all sure I could have held out. I was starving for affection and affirmation – even more than I remember, according to what I’m seeing on those old journal pages. And both men found me attractive because I’m smart, as well as being … well, whatever they saw in me that they found attractive. (Modesty forbids me to look too closely at those possibilities).

Grace of God, to be sure.

I have said, we are vulnerable. That observation cannot be overstated: We are vulnerable. VULNERABLE.

And right this minute, after being alone for a decade and fighting out some tough stuff and becoming stronger than ever, and opinionated and stubborn and really pretty doggone comfortable (and even smug about) being single… if He Whom My Soul Loves (or, maybe, Richard Armitage) were to walk in the door right now and offer to carry me away to… I don’t know, it would have to be somewhere COOL! – I’m not at all sure I could smile at him and say, “Aw, how sweet, but no, thank you.”

They say forewarned is forearmed. I sure hope it’s true.

One thought on “Painful memories

  1. A friend and I talked about the need for there to be “keepers”(short for a keeper or guard for your heart) for those of us who were vulnerable while struggling to recover ourselves.

    Guy friends who are not going to take advantage but whose friendships are a salve while you struggle to recover some self respect. In my case, strange as it might seem, my “keeper” was a dear friend who happened ALSO to be homosexual. Ironic that the ex never came out of the closet, but was seen flirting with young guys, and the friend who stood solidly in favor of my being OK (besides girlfriends who knew the whole story) shared an orientation. His friendship helped me to guard my heart while I healed.

    And another homosexual friend checked out any new crushes I had to make sure I wasn’t falling for another homosexual and more than once I had crushes and it turned out they were not straight– to say the least I was devastated to discover that I had gotten so used to non-straight body language that I was attracted to the wrong orientation!! It got so I cried because it was so frustrating to want to date and to be so messed up that I managed ONLY to notice the non-straight guys in my social circles!

    However, things do get better. I did some deep digging into my own inner worlds and found the patterns to avoid and what to be open to considering.

    My love is a nice STRAIGHT guy!

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