I just want to stop the sadness. It’s something I’m tired of carrying like a weight on my life.
A couple of weeks ago, I found the journal that I began three months after my husband died. I started typing the entries into my computer and I am floored by what I’m reading and typing. I know I lived it, but my mind was in such a fog for a few years after he died that I don’t remember things very clearly. It was so bad. The consequences from his choices were coming after me from so many angles and it was resting fully on my shoulders. My world unraveled with discoveries of details of my husband’s life I knew nothing about. I realized again that everything I knew about my life in my marriage had been a lie.
At the same time, I am also going back to the earliest journal entries I have entered into the computer and I’ve begun “talking back to them”. What I mean by this is that I read the entries and, when it triggers an emotion or thought, I type out exactly what is going through my mind no matter how harsh it may sound. It’s kind of cathartic. It is my attempt to fully face these times in my life where someone has spoken into my life or done something that has made me feel “less than”. I’m arguing back, often, for the first time. I’m letting out my frustration, anger, and hurt. I’ve continued to seek knowledge from God’s Word and am able to look back on what I wrote years ago with more wisdom and clarity of what was really being said and done and then speaking truth into them.
As I type the entries, the wounds start to open. It sounds like I’m looking for trouble by doing this, but I’m finding it is tapping into the sadness. I can’t fight the sadness or even know how to approach it unless I know what is causing it. This kind of sadness doesn’t just happen, it forms. I have taken comments and experiences in my life and I have built on how I perceived those words and events. What I was thinking at the time, in many cases, was not true. For many of them, I simply repeated back to myself the abusive words that were continually aimed at me. Others I fought, but I ultimately pushed them away when I couldn’t find a way to escape them and be free. I’m finding that the only way to stop the sadness is to discover and replace those thoughts and actions
What Love Looks Like
I was so delusional, naïve, and just plain stupid when it came to what love was, what it should look like, or what it was supposed to feel like. However, reading these entries back now, I see that what was happening between my husband and me right before we were engaged was NOT love on his part, but I was clueless. It seems so blatant to me now, but I didn’t see it then, unfortunately.
The question that has bothered me, since I read these entries is, if he really didn’t love me, then why did he ask me to marry him within days of the events I was typing out? Was it because it was what was expected of him for the sake of appearances? Or did he do it because he thought it would be okay? I think part of his thinking was that he might look bad if we didn’t get married. That would have been in his own eyes, but thinking back to a few things he said during our married life, I think that played a part.
That’s all so sad for both of us. Neither of us had a chance to find true happiness and love. We didn’t know what it meant to be who we were fully meant to be. He had addictions he was struggling with and I’m guessing he thought getting married would curb those desires, but they didn’t. Instead, they destroyed both of us.
This Is Us
I wish I had known what love was supposed to look like from when I was little. That wasn’t something I experienced, though, and I paid the consequences of it as an adult. The sad thing is, I’m not the only one who missed out. Having just watched the episode of “This Is Us” that told how and why the father, Jack, shed so much light on this very subject. In the episode, the doctor made a comment in the hospital that he must have really loved the dog he went back in to save and he said, “I really love the girl who loves the dog.” That is so powerful. This man (even though I know he’s a character, but it’s such a beautiful portrayal) knew that giving freely of himself and showing love with abandon was what life was about. He never had to guess if his family knew how important they were to him and they never would have to guess what real love looked like because he showed it to them all the time.
The best way to stop the sadness is to prevent it from happening. I think that’s one of the most important earthly messages we can give to our family. To show them with our heart, our actions, and our words how much they are loved is immeasurable. I wish our marriage could have been a good example of what love looks like for my boys. It definitely wasn’t. However, I’ve tried to tell them the difference and show my love for them. Most importantly, I’ve directed them both to the very Giver of love, Jesus. I pray they will grow in that love and will be carriers of it as well. I couldn’t ask for anything better for my boys and I pray that they will never have sadness that they have to fight to stop.
~ Joanna Lynn