Updated: Jun 29
After much prayer, I calmed down and slept. The following morning, I woke with a better attitude. This was the beginning of my total reliance on God. I made a list of the issues I wanted revised. All I held onto was my faith that God would intervene and sort out my grievance with Eric. I anxiously waited all day for my evening phone time. I called Eric. He answered as I kindly expressed the revisions I wanted. He agreed to the changes I wanted made. All of my stress and anxiety subsided when we both came into agreement. Eric and I agreed to keep a cordial relationship. Our kids had been through too much for us not to keep things amicable. Regardless of our own vendetta- we loved our children and only wanted the best for them.
I remained numb to a lot of my feelings towards Eric because all I felt was the pain. Although, in reality, I was more comfortable with the hatred because I had escaped uncomfortable feelings for years by substance abuse. The anger, for me, was much easier to disguise over the sadness. I was hurting. I had been emotionally detached for years. I held a grudge for every single thing he did that hurt me. And guess what? Most of the behavior, harsh words, or what have you, he knew nothing about because I did not communicate my feelings. I drank them. The biggest downfall in our marriage was our lack of communication. We fought, made up, and continued on with our lives until the next opportune moment to throw shade at each other (mostly when intoxicated). Eric and I both were not ones to bicker and fight a lot when sober. I preferred the unhealthy silent treatment as well as he. It was when our minds were controlled by substances that all of our insecurities, pet peeves, and issues arose on display for us to dig a deeper grave for our love to diminish into.
An example of this: When Bentley was ONLY ten months old, I had recently birthed Everett and Cooper, all of them were in the hospital. My boys were in the NICU at Northside Hospital in Atlanta and Bentley was across the street at the Children's Hospital. During this time, I was extremely overwhelmed, pumping my breast milk and hormonal while consumed with anxiety. I had given BIRTH to THREE children in TEN months. LET THAT SINK IN.
I drove an hour every day to visit my boys while they were in the NICU. A heavy snowstorm closed down the city for about three days. During this time...Bentley suddenly became very sick with a bump turned abscess infected with staph. As soon as the roads were cleared, I drove Bentley to her pediatrician. He immediately sent me to Children's Hospital. I was terrified. When I arrived at the hospital my baby girl was promptly prepped for surgery. Eric was at work, and I was alone. Later that evening, Bentley was admitted, and Eric came to visit us. It was on a Friday. Eric's job, back then, was very flexible. He basically made his own hours and more times than not was at home (Another issue I had). He ordered us dinner and stayed for about two hours. Then, he said he had to work in the morning, which sometimes he did, and was leaving to go home. I did not say a word. I could not believe it! I thought, "Work?! I do not care if you have to work or not your butt needs to stay here with me and our sick child." Again, I assumed, he selfishly wanted to go home sleep in his bed with the fan, vodka, and movie. His typical routine. I was fuming and soon as he left, I called my best friend, Leah. I told her all about it! My feelings were hurt. I should have vocalized how I wanted him to stay and support me and Bentley. I basically wanted him there for my emotional support. I felt left alone to take care of everything. My heart and emotions were not seen nor tended to then because Eric did not know or did not care. Leah called him after our phone call. I sat holding Bentley crying. I had not seen the boys because I had been with her, and I felt guilt about that. The mom guilt is real!
The next morning, he did what all good husbands do when they get tipped off that their wife is upset. He showed up with coffee and breakfast and suggested I needed a break. He planned to stay with Bentley so I could visit the boys. I jumped up for the occasion. Although, I did not want to leave my girl I had greatly desired a cigarette and a numbing agent-aka-pill. Eric made both happen. We were good like that. And I was quick to forgive but not forget. Because as soon as another annoyance or unmet expectation occurred, my mind irrevocably reminded itself of all the ways Eric had not been there and taken care of me.
It is a simple story, that helped me recognize my bad habits and childlike communication along with the voidance in my marriage. I became upset because of lack of communication, did not express my needs and feelings in a healthy manner, and used a substance and a "I'm sorry" to avoid the underlining issues. Sound familiar? If you are in any kind of long-term commitment, marriage, or relationship you have encountered arguments such as this. It is inevitable. Let it teach you early on, so you do not have to live years on eggshells, or let the hurt define you. It was easy to blame Eric.
Do you know what is hard, helpful, enlightening, freeing, and rejuvenating to your own well-being, spirit and soul? Facing and identifying your own hang-ups and behavior.
With Eric and I back in good graces with each other I was driven back to my own recovery. I wanted to be free. Essentially, I thought I wanted to be free from him. God revealed things differently to me. I was not running from my marriage from Eric. I was running from me, myself, and I.