The Write 31 Days Challenge – 30 Days,Every Day,One Topic
How does one write the most painful parts of their story and remain upbeat? Like I said on Day 1, I love to laugh. Laughter is a great gift to possess when times get tough and no matter what’s happened in life, I’ve always found reason to laugh.
Yes, I realize that laughter can be a coping mechanism. Like when we had to sit through my mom’s Christmas Eve service year-after-year, watching the same boring play, performed by the same lackluster actors, clutching paper skirted candles that we’d light together at the end of the service.
Always being a creative sort I made the most of the situation. Softening my candle in warm hands while the play trudged on, molding and shaping the softened wax during monotone readings from the Bible, and putting the finishing touches on my wax creation while “What Child is This?” was belted out by the soloist who couldn’t hit the high notes to save her life.
Y’all must think I’m a terrible person for judging, and yes, I sense a(nother) much needed time of confession in my future. Click To Tweet But what was even worse was that I had two young daughters under my influence and they were delighted into fits of laughter at the sight of my finished product – A perfectly formed rose candle.
Confession time here: When I first wrote this post I included a lot of details about my ex-husband. Later, as I considered my purpose behind my sharing, I came to the conclusion that it was to justify myself, my right to leave the marriage, and to explain away my own ill behavior at the time. There were a lot of “stories” told about me then and I was vilified by many, so in a way I was hoping to defend myself to you, my readers.
I hear ya’ Lord. I know full well that my story is mine to tell but his story is not, especially in a public forum where it could potentially cause pain to him or others. So I will refrain from defending myself with a “tell-all” and let God be my defender.
Moving right along, what do we do when we find ourselves where we never expected to be? For me, a broken marriage, betrayal by a friend, and a new life to navigate. This is exactly where I found myself nearly 30 years ago when I came to the decision that I would leave my then marriage. No one but me knew the depth of pain I felt within the relationship because I was Perfect Patti.
I’d lived for years, active in church and doing all the right churchy kinds of things – leading studies, hosting home groups, and teaching Sunday school.
I looked really good on the outside but my God-walk was one of constant striving to prove that I was good in order to cover the fact that I knew that I wasn’t. I was draped in a cloak of deep-seated shame. Click To Tweet
A Broken Marriage – I never wanted to wear the label “divorced” in the first place, or the second place in my case (more on that another day), but it came to a point that divorce was my only hope.
At twenty years of age I married an older man whom I met at a time when I had so little self-esteem that I felt thankful that anyone would even want me. So I’d jumped full in to marriage after three months of dating.
From the start there were things in our relationship that were very wrong, but I stayed, and I tried, because I didn’t want to fail again. During the time we were married we had two children together, attended church regularly, and I resigned myself to living life unhappy.
Until . . . I decided to go back to school, gained some confidence in myself, and began preparing my escape, never telling anyone of my plans. I withdrew from my then husband and grew distant from church friends.
One evening, after a particularly bad encounter at home, I knew the time to leave had come and the next day I set up a meeting with one of the women’s leaders in the church, whom I also considered to be a friend. I did so because I didn’t want her to be surprised when she heard the news that I’d moved out of my home.
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