Monday, November 21, 2016

the anniversary of everything

photo by: Jill Candland Photography
This week is the anniversary of everything: the marriage, the nightmares, the d-day, the weird paralysis, and the divorce.  Yes, the divorce. The end of an era.

When I look back, it's a no-brainer, I needed to leave. But, I also see the maze of bridges I wanted to cross, all the spaces in my heart I wanted to explore, all the waking up I wanted to do.

I remember the {POW} moment when my therapist said, "You know what to do." She said it with a certainty I couldn't grasp.

Deciding to leave a marriage feels like the most impossible decision. Kids, lives, mortgages...leaving means reshaping all of that. Staying felt like a betrayal of me and leaving felt like a betrayal of them.

So, I stayed. Uncertain. I became comfortable with limbo; the space between the space. I told myself that maybe I could live my whole life in limbo, neither being or not being, feeling more like an android and less like a woman. But, at least I'd be holding back the damage from my children. It felt like my back was up against the Hoover Dam, and if I moved, even an inch, the whole thing would come flooding out, drowning everything.

Six months later, I was having lunch with friends, some married and some divorced.  As the conversation and banter grew between marrieds and divorced I heard my heart say, "if there's any light in your marriage, find it."

As soon as I was alone, I called Mr. Scabs and explained that I finally felt an answer. After what felt like eons of limbo, I had a direction. I was going to put both feet in my marriage. I was going to toss everything in and surrender to the great {whatever}. I was going to jump over the waterfall and see who catches me. I knew God was somewhere in that equation but I was hoping Mr. Scabs was too.

For so long, I felt like I was backpedaling a canoe, avoiding the raging Niagara waterfall in front of me. It was time to pull in the oars and let the white-water carry me forward.

The edge was near. I took a deep breath and flew over the edge of the falls, with full trust.

We spent the summer together, almost like a summer fling. We held hands, planned futures, visited family, laughed, road tripped and even slept in the same bed. I breathed and trusted that the waterfall and God would tell me the truth. And It did.

Because one day I had that feeling. That familiar feeling that I was going blind to the lies around me. So, I woke up, and I asked him, and I observed and used all my new tools.

This time, the blow of discovering sex with random women barely brushed my shoulder. I didn't cry. I didn't feel gut-punched. I didn't feel sad. I wasn't even surprised. I just knew what I had to do. I had drawn a line in the sand and I had to honor myself.

I looked at Mr. Scabs and this is what came out of my mouth,

"When I said, 'no more women,' did you think I was joking? Because I wasn't."

It was this moment, that my back loosened its grip on the Hoover Dam, I stepped forward with intention and the stones of the dam began to crumble and the water began to heave. I didn't want to protect my kids from this any longer. I had made a decision. So, I reached out with the tightest grip on their little hands and I hugged and kissed them and told them they were conceived and born in love and that although this isn't what I wanted for them when their dad and I made a family, this is what we have. And even though it hurts, I'm solid and I am here with you. And with that, the water rushed around my legs and swept us away.

What I didn't know is that all those years of limbo, of maze bridges, and exploring the spaces in my heart grounded me. I had been prepared to 'be' with my children as the floods washed over them. I couldn't protect them, and I no longer wanted to. Instead, I wanted to breathe with them as their little bodies grieved, and cried, and yelled, "IT ISN'T FAIR!"

This post is a hard one, and I'm sorry it's so raw. These words have been sitting in me for over a year and it finally feels right to share them.



  1. Oh Scabs! I've wondered day after day how your story has been unfolding. I'm at the same time happy and sad for you. But most of all, your story reads peaceful. You did everything your heart and God told you to do at each turn. And while it didn't end "happily ever after" in the princess fairytale version, there most absolutely is and will be a happily ever after.
    My hoover dam exploded 20+ years ago. I thought I would be swept away and drowned. But the opposite has happened. The part of your story that brings tears to my eyes is that you didn't cry, feel gut punched or surprised. You just knew what you had to do. I remember those feelings too. There's nothing left to throw, insults or hard objects, and no more tears to shed. Just the quiet calm of an intense chapter finally closing.
    Best wishes to you Scabs! You are a strong, courageous, beautiful woman with many chapters of happy yet to write!

    1. And I started to tear up when you said you were wondering about me...thank you! It is an interesting kind of peace, and it sounds like you know what I'm talking about when you say, 'just the quiet calm of an intense chapter finally closing.' xo my friend, thanks for being on the journey with me.

  2. I have to say I am one of those who has been wondering whatever happened. Reading this I felt simultaneously so sad and disappointed and also so happy for you and proud of you.
    It's so brave of you to put your story out here. I just have to tell you that you are amazing and that your children are so blessed to have you shining as their example.
    Peace In.

    1. Thank you for your kind words! As any mother is, I've always been so worried about my kids and how they will survive such a thing. It stinks, for sure, but it also feels ok.

  3. So sorry that you had to reach that point. So sorry that Mr. Scabs didn't get into recovery. So stinkin' proud of your courage and happy for the peace that clear boundaries can bring, even -- and especially -- in spite of the hard.

    1. Ahh Michelle! If you are who I think you are, you've been with me from the beginning. Thank you for all your love!

    2. I love you so much, friend. I have been looking for the day you would write this post and it is breathtaking. Heartwrenching, but powerful. It's this kind of power that inspired H&H (am I who you thought I was? :) ). I wanted women to feel -- through others' stories -- what healing looks like so that they could step into their own healing and be strong, be guided, be helped to do the hard, whether that means to stay or to go or to wait while the answers unfold.

      Your unfolding has been amazing to witness, and I am grateful for the strength you have given and continue to give to others. I feel blessed to know you.

  4. I heart you Scabs. You've been there since my beginning and I'm so grateful to draw peace and strength from you. Thanks for sharing your tribe with me. I've found some of my best people through following in your footsteps.

    1. Hey lady! The people you found are some of my favorites and Im so glad somethign here gave you peace. xo

  5. Wow! I too have wondered about your life. I was in a counseling session with my husband last night and were talking boundaries and I said "no women", it's not a joke and I hope it never happens....again, but if it does, I hope I'm as strong as you are! You have been such a help and inspiration to me and helped me through this process. If it wasn't for finding you and your resources I don't know where I'd be today. Thank you!!!!! ---Amber E.

    1. i hope it never happens again for you too. I really do. But, you are strong enough---the day that I found out more I knew I couldn't stay--i knew I wouldn't be able to respect myself, and my kids needed a mom who felt good about who she is. You'll be strong. If you stay or go, either way, you're strong.

  6. Thank you for BEING in so many capacities.A white Buffalo if there ever was one. My heart is beating with hope that it nothing right now I'm being grounded for whatever comes. I hope to honor myself in the ways that matter. Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability. Brandie... Camp Glendo

    1. Hi Brandi! Love you! I have no doubt that you're being grounded for whatever comes. I kinda feel like that's what life does for us if we listen to grounds us for what is coming. xo

  7. Scabs, you are the most incredible woman. You love God and He loves you. You are strong and brave and am inspiration. I loved you the first time I met you because of your goodness. I miss you! Brandi

  8. You are such a bright light in this darkness. Thank you so much for sharing; the transcendent, the good, the bad, and the ugly. It has helped me so very much. Praying for your continued ability to honor yourself. Love, love, love you! -Lindsey

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't thank you enough for sharing your story. I admire you and your courage and faith.

  10. Well, its not my spouse, it's my mom. She always hides to call someone. I hate what she is doing. I already know the phone number of the other man and some information. She always denies it and gets very mad. I need more proofs, that will be impossible to deny. It quite hurts, the way your own mother is acting. It's also disgusting. Well, I guess I got off the topic. I wanted to know if the information of a cell phone can be transferred to some other device, to be viewed. Thank you, the information was helpful,contact him in gmail with this address will surely help out like he did for me

  11. Oh Scabs. You provided me sanity when my life of shit was unfolding, and I'm incredibly grateful. I didn't post, I just stalked.
    You are still a shining light to me. Your ability and bravery in facing the demons, and moving through the process with transparency and authenticity. Wow.
    Your seeing that best mommy-ing isn't in protecting but walking alongside. Wow.
    Your understanding the line and having the strength to live your heart. Wow.
    Thank you, for then and for now.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and please know you are one of the reasons I can be thankful.

  12. You're a better woman than I am. I never gave Loser another chance. The only apology I ever got was when he screamed "I'm sorry!" When I mentioned the disease he had given me, he just said "get over it. If you care enough, it doesn't matter." (Little did I know that his current tramp "didn't care" because she already had it.)
    Ah....these "men."

  13. Scabs you are one strong woman and a wonderful role model for your children and tribe. You honor yourself in spite of fear and you provide the beacon so many need to find their way. I am 17 months out of D-day and with a man who has managed to stay on the right path. When I told him he had one chance to get it right he knew I meant business. I do and just like you I will honor my words to myself. Please, keep your blog open and shine your light for those who walk your path. Now, more than ever in our country, we need women of integrity and honor to lead the way. Your children will grow up understanding that a mother's job is to protect herself and her children in times of adversity, especially when nobody else seems to be able to do that. You are a star and even if you don't always feel like you shine, you truly do. Your patience, kindness, understanding and compassion in the face of adversity gives us hope.

  14. Oh scabs, you're an amazing role model for wives of sex addicts. I so appreciate you being willing to continue to share your story. I'm sad for you, but also hopeful, because I know that you will come away from this an even more beautiful soul, though it is still so shitty that we tend to grow from such horrible experiences. You give me courage that if/when betrayal happens again, I'll be able to leave with my dignity intact too. Much love, Eleanor (from mytwoworldscolliding)

  15. Truly stunning; I'm there, too. I've followed along with you and hoped to be part of the camps, but finally made the decision to end my marriage. Your post showed up in my email this morning and I almost didn't read it. I am trying to breathe again and didn't want to relive the pain and fight through your post. But something pushed me on. I'm so happy I did! I have lived in limbo for about six years. I am 4 days out from the end of the 90-day-waiting period in my state. Your description of the state of limbo, of Hoover Dam, and your holding your children tight and riding the waves ... that was the very first time I have ever felt like there was another person on earth who understood where I am and how I'm feeling. I am beyond grateful for your post today. Thank you so much, Scabs. God bless you and your children. <3

  16. I have ended my marriage as well. I love you so much and am thankful for your journey. My divorce became final about two weeks ago. scabs your experiences have meant so much to me. There was a time I didn't think I would be where I am at but God provided a way.

  17. Dear Scabs, while my heart breaks for you, it also sings for your new life. It will be hard. I'm a child of divorce, but it was the best decision my mother made. God will be with you and your family during this time and all will be well. It won't be easy, but you will be carried through. He did promise us angels. <3

  18. I want to thank Dr.Agbazara for his job in my family, this is man who left me and the kids for another woman without any good reasons, i was pain and confuse,till one day when i was browsing through the internet with my computer then i saw Dr.Agbazara contact, then i contaced him and he help me cast a reunion spell, since I then the situation has changed, everything is moving well, my husband who left me is now back to his family. reach DR.AGBAZARA TEMPLE via email if you have any relationship problem at:

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  19. Scabs--
    You were my first step into recovery. I can't describe the relief that finding your blog was to me two years ago as my marriage fell apart and ultimately ended. Reading your words was like coming home. I realized that I could because of you.
    I've thought often of you and how you are.
    Hoping all beautiful things for you... 💜

  20. Thank you.

    Every few months, I'll google your site and see what you have to say. It paid off today. Again, thank you.

    My Cheater is so changed. There's such a difference that people who don't know comment on how much MORE amazing a husband and father he is. He does now ACT out Acts of Love, not just talk about wanting to do them and then bailing, as he used to do.

    But I'm afraid, really, that all my compassion and trying to save our marriage/family only has taught him how to ACT. What I need to see, what the children should experience, how a man who loves his wife and children is supposed to behave.

    I'm afraid that ALL he does now are those ACTS.

    But he doesn't mean them. And all I've done is show to him, in agonizing detail, how to snow me. We're 2.5 years out from OW#2's discovery... he waited 5 years between cheating and marvels that, with the new and improved him, I could ever doubt his fidelity again.

    ???? Because you're a shit, deep down, and I've shown you how to REALLY hide it from me. Maybe not now or in the next few years but it's inevitable, isn't it?

    I wonder, VERY OFTEN, if I'm just prolonging the whole issue. I don't trust him and never will again. I don't trust anyone. He has shown me that no matter how much you love or help or share beautiful experiences with someone else, they can still hurt you deeply enough to waste your soul. I'm a shell of who I was and play at - very well - caring about anything. Even our children. I have to mentally (not emotionally) just scrape my way up to actually caring about what they do, for themselves, because "aren't we all just fucked and some hide it better than others? They'll figure it out."

    I used to have such feeling and empathy. It left over a year ago, after the 7010th new discovery. It is confirmed with every tiny, white lie he says that does NOT actually matter... that I don't care about anything anymore.

    I should be sad for myself but I just don't seem to care... I feel like my emotions have been put to sleep. I long for that time, when it was all coming to a head, when I used to cry. I can't cry about anything anymore. Who the hell am I that I cannot cry?

  21. But hey? We get along so... I'll just keep existing and stuff. Why rock the boat when the only casualty is me and I don't feel anything anymore; I just get annoyed about it. grrr

  22. 4+ years ago yours was the very first blog that I found as I was scrambling to find the light that is my recovery. 3+ years ago I felt God gently take me the beginning of scary bridge after scary bridge and invite me to cross to a new piece of my new life that he had waiting for me. When the divorce bridge presented itself I was ready to cross it with trust in the lessons to learn and trust in the trials and journey He would lead me on. When He asked me to choose between Him and my marriage I was buoyed by the strength of women like you who had just simply and bravely chosen to do hard things. I didn't need to know your divorce story to see your bravery. It didn't have to be the same choice as mine... it just was what it was.. beautiful and brave and well-written.

    The flourishing I have done in the last 3 years on my own has been breathtakingly beautiful because I love and chose and choose God and myself. I have done the hard things that are right for my life and He has lead me along. Some times the hard things are staying, some times the hard things are going... but always the hard things are exactly what we need and always we are exactly where we need to be.

    Life and God are a gentle healers and teachers and I love that He gave you the mind and heart and talent and gifts to teach others through your story-telling and your ferocious willingness to do your life. Your kids are going to do so well... but I get the feeling you already know that. I just want to say... atta girl. And atta girl to all those who bravely do their journey's... whatever they look like.

  23. Scabs, this is so beautiful. I can relate to so much of this. To staying in limbo for probably too long because moving forward feels so scary and moving backwards isn't an option. I also know how it feels to move forward into something that is so, so, scary and yet, so, so right. I know how empowering it feels to have a real line in the sand and to hold to it. Leaving my marriage and stepping out of limbo was the best, hardest choice I ever made. I love and admire you so much!




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