First Feelings


When I went to see my counselor last week, she read my last post and we talked about it for a while. She asked what I was feeling. I told her I didn’t know, just like I wrote in my post, and that every time I think of all the pain, my stomach feels twisted in knots. She then started typing away on her computer and told me she was printing something. I said, “Awesome”, with no enthusiasm whatsoever.

She left the room for a few seconds and I was left with my thoughts. What she handed me, when she came back into the room, was a list of “feeling” words. To have to have a list of words because you don’t know how to identify what you’re feeling is humbling and a bit scary. Most kindergarteners can tell you what they’re feeling; yet I am at a complete loss.

The Reason For the Tears

I looked at the feelings and quickly skipped the page of pleasant ones. I then stopped and just stared. She asked what I was thinking and I started to cry. I told her I didn’t want to do this because it hurt. As I look back on that moment, I’m not sure that the hurt was what I was afraid of confronting. I think the really hard part that terrifies me is that for me to be able to figure out how to name a feeling, I have to:

– Relive the actions of others

– Hear the hateful and unloving words over and over

– Live in doubt and blame

– Beat myself down believing that I really am as horrible of a person as I’ve been told

But, I have to do it.

Did I Carry Any Blame?

I have had one question run through my mind about the choices the one I loved made but a simple word won’t work…what was my role? I have heard so many times from so many professionals in my reading, TV and such, that when a couple gets divorced, it’s never just one person’s fault. Is that always true?

The affair I found out about before he died, may or may not have led to a divorce, but some of the actions that came to light after probably would have. With that said, what is my part in this scenario? When I wrote my first draft of my last post (which are all my thoughts falling on the screen with no editing), I had my friend read it. In it I wrote that there is no way that I can’t be somehow at fault for his choices. She was quick to ask me if I would tell Jared Fogle’s wife that she was in any way at fault for the choices he made. Absolutely not!!! There is nothing she could have done to make him do what he did.

Here’s where my thinking gets confused; I have been told so many times that I am at fault for things I never did. However, because it has been so common for the blame to be placed on me, it’s hard for me to not question my part in many situations.

In the end, I know I didn’t make the one I loved make the choices he did, but if both of us hold some responsibility for what would have probably led to a divorce, where does my part come in? This is so confusing. Part of the reason I want to know this answer is so I can tell another hurting person a truth that will comfort or help them in some way. By not having an answer, there’s even a chance that I would hurt them or cause them more grief. So, I would really love to have an answer to this issue.


In addition to this, one word that has gone through my mind is abandoned. I’m not even sure this is a “feeling” word, but feeling abandoned is one consistent thought I have had ever since the one I loved ended his life. It is tough to handle two boys, a home, yard, car and anything and everything that goes along with them as the only parent and homeowner. I often look at all the things that need to be done and I feel like a failure. Fortunately, I can often give myself some grace. But the hardest part of these times is not all the work that needs to be done, but that feeling of having been abandoned to figure it all out on my own.

What the dreams add to this feeling of abandonment is complete and total rejection. While the one I loved is picking woman after woman in them, the protectors are pretty much cheering him on while trying to make it clear I am not wanted or needed. It carries over into my days and beats me down so, so often. It cuts deep and tears me down. It is a feeling that makes me feel so isolated even when I’m with a roomful of people.

Hope and Additional Help

The positive in all this is that there is hope for me to get through this and come out stronger in the end. But the biggest hope I have is that I will come out of this and meet a whole new person I didn’t know existed. My hope is that I will be able to finally fully live my life without fear of someone coming after me. This leads me to the other question I’ve asked myself on several occasions – what is it about me that makes some people try so hard to shut me up or shut me down? Can it only be something bad about me or could there possibly, maybe, be a characteristic about me that is actually positive that threatens them somehow?

I pray I can find answers to these questions and overcome these feelings as well as the ones that are yet to be identified. I know God has given me not only my counselor, friends and family to help me, but also a whole slew of professionals who can be trusted in book form, blogs, websites and such to help me understand what I’m feeling and how to work my way through it all. This helps me to know I don’t have to live so much inside my head. It would give me something specific to focus on with some solutions to consider.

~ Joanna Lynn

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