M— and B— took me to the mall for Wreck-It Ralph. It was my way of celebrating.
I am no longer a shelter resident. I moved into the townhouse owned by a recent divorcee in my ward. I have a private room and a private bath, and as much as my heart reached out to the women at the shelter, I have peace of mind knowing that no one is going to hit me up to share drugs or constantly be inviting me to go out for a smoke or to just have a morning cup of coffee. I have survived a week and a half of being surrounded by old vices that I used to turn to when in need of the comfort I need now.
Thanksgiving was just about the strangest I can recall. I was worried about talking about it previously because I was still at shelter and under strict rules not to contact my husband. I suck at the rules. We had a "dinner date" at Zupas on Wednesday night that I had to lie about, and I decided to risk spending Turkey Day with him too.
No, I'm not going back to him. At least not yet. But a couple that means to work it out has to start repairing damages sometime and my scheduling didn't jive with the shelter's.
So I made chicken salad sandwiches. I bought craftily shaved carrots called "baby", a bag of SunChips, two oranges, and a box of cocoa mix. I told him to bring quilts, firewood and matches, and a thermos of boiling water. We met at the staircase at the southwest corner of LDS University of Choice at noon and then drove into the canyon. There is a park on the right side of the highway a few miles in from Happy Valley Falls. We turned in here and wandered into the hills until we found a campsite that featured fire pit, stream, and picnic table. And there we cuddled next to the fire, gave thanks, and ate chicken.
All this may seem picturesque and surface-level, but these encounters lead to long hours holding each other, and unraveling the puzzle of our limping marriage. My husband is facing facts about himself that I don't think he's ever acknowledged before. He knows he needs help to overcome tendencies and behaviors that are damaging to our union. I, in turn, know what I need to overcome to love with charity and to get the love that I deserve. We're only just scratching the surface, but at least there is a starting point. The wound is beginning to heal. Repentance has begun.
My husband will be going to counseling, because he wants to, because he knows change must happen to save "us". I will continue with Anick for all the same reasons. He asks me for a time frame because he wants me home, and I can't give it. I know this may take many long months. Only the Spirit knows when it is truly safe. I continue to pray that we can stay on course.
It's not time to go home yet, but if we continue in this path that time will come.
Meantime, I am trying to keep my chin above water. I am still very, very blue. Emotional and physical exhaustion are taking their toll. I am so so weary. My kids are wanting less and less time with me and I ache. I'm in a state of loneliness like the peanut that the elephant sat on. No light. No air. Just crushing weight.
I'm dog paddling for hope, gulping the current like it is release.