November is a month to be grateful right? I am grateful for so many things but I think the biggest thing I am grateful for is that November is OVER! To the average reader, that sounds odd to say but you are not average readers. You know the heartache and triggers that come with anniversaries.
As I have posted before, November of 2013 was when the longest of my husband's affairs began...the one that sent him over the top and finally forced a full disclosure. I have tread very lightly this month, trying to do things very differently than last. I still felt those triggery thoughts from time to time as the air got cold, the mornings and afternoons turned dark and Thanksgiving approached. Those simple things sent my heart back to last year's pains and hurts and suspicions.
But, I SURVIVED! Yes, the tears came a little more readily, the conversations were a little more painful and heated, and the bad memories a little more easy to recall this month. I knew that would be the case and so did my husband.
For Thanksgiving we decided to not celebrate as we usually do (and as we did last year) and we abandoned all family and traditions and left for the beach. We live about an hour from the coast and so we rented a house there for just our family. My in-laws were surprised (we always spend the holidays together) but understanding. I truly believe that this decision was inspired. We had an amazing time just "getting out of Dodge." We leisurely made dinner and ate when we felt like it. We walked the beach (through a rain storm), and we did a 1000 piece puzzle that took us 3 whole days to complete. We got fudge at the local fudge shop and shopped for ornaments at the Christmas store. All the while, I was rejoicing in the "newness" of it! I had very few triggers over the Thanksgiving weekend and it was like balm to my soul.
So, now I am facing December..the month when the affair was in overdrive. (And a second one occurred in the middle of the first.) If you haven't read my husband's story, here is what was going on last year at this time. My addiction journey part 7 In order for us to face it and not be driven mad by the memories, we are once again getting away. We are not putting up a tree, we are not sending out cards, we are not baking any holiday goodies. We are not giving many gifts or attending many Christmas concerts. I know we sound like a bunch of Scrooges but this year, we had to mix it up. Instead, we are leaving in two weeks to take our family to Disneyland and then on a four night cruise to Mexico. Crazy huh? The money we would have spent on "things" is being spent on memories that will hopefully replace last year's memories of despair and addiction.
We are focusing on the Atonement this year...and rightly so as we have never felt its' power more than we have in 2014. Once we get back from our trip, we will hit our one year anniversary of D-day and from then on, we can officially say that all of this garbage happened "over a year ago." That just sounds so nice doesn't it? By the end of January we hope to reconvene a church court and hopefully have a re-baptism. Good things are happening here, despite the pain that we have felt and still feel. So, we are celebrating Christ's birth in a different way...and that's okay. We feel like He has been leading and guiding our every footstep this year and that this trip was an answer to a very heavy prayer.
With His help, I know we will make it through 2014 with all of it's revelations, surprises, hurts and anniversaries. And to tell you the truth, the year hasn't been all bad. We have learned so much and grown so much and had some beautiful moments together as a family. Will I be glad to see 2014 slip into history? YES! I will rejoice on New Year's Eve like I have never rejoiced before! Here's to new beginnings, new friends, new understanding, new memories and a new year!