Guess What! In two days we will have hit our one year mark! In two days (one year ago) my world came crashing down, was fundamentally changed and my course in life altered completely. DDay 2014 was the WORST day of my life for sure, followed by months of equally bad days. But, for Jason, DDAY 2014 was the BEST day of his life. I hate that a day that caused me the most heart wrenching pain is the best day of his life but I understand why. It is his FREEDOM day. It is the day he decided that this addiction was going to cost him everything he loved and it was time to stop. He has been clean since that horrible day.
So, in honor of my ridiculous 2014, I wanted to record the top ten worst moments and the top ten best moments. I think I will just do the worst moments with this post and the best moments in another. I don't want to dwell on the bad stuff but when I lay it out there, I marvel at what we have passed through in one single year and that we are still doing okay. I also realized with each one of these awful memories, there was good that came out of it. That's a testament to the power of the Atonement and the Savior stepping in to carry some of the weight.
The ten worst moments of 2014:
1. DDay. You can read about that horrible horrible day here: http://www.ouraddictionjourney.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-war-begins-with-revelation.html
What followed were long weeks with no sleeping, no eating and lots of crying. I lost 15 pounds in a couple of weeks. (Sadly, I've gained that back) The good: I like the path that I am now on. I like that I have proven myself in an earth shattering trial. I like that I feel that my Heavenly Father is proud of me for handling this in a Christ like way. I LOVE the marriage that I have now. Perhaps one day I will say it was all worth it. I hope so.
2. Visiting with our Stake President on Dday: My husband was his second counselor. The SP was rocked by Jason's admission and shed many tears. I hated watching my husband hand over his temple recommend that very day. The good: I came to appreciate that my husband had been called to this calling as we had a very special relationship with our Stake President. He gave us more attention than he perhaps would have given others because he was personally involved. My husband was also more comfortable confessing to him because he was a friend. Did the Lord set it up that way, knowing that Jason would need that extra support to kick this? I would like to think so.
3. Getting tested for STDs: This day sucked. I sat in my OB's office with all of the pregnant women and their adoring husbands waiting for my name to be called so I could get tested for those horrible diseases. Having to tell my beloved OB (the women who delivered my children) that my husband had cheated on me was equally awful. The look of pity on her face I will never forget. The good: I was so overcome with grief and my body was so exhausted that I passed out cold in that appointment. Jason had to come back and face my OB after all as they called him back to help me wake up. That is now a memory that we can even laugh at. (And we both tested negative)
4. Telling our teenagers: We ordinarily wouldn't have done this but since Jason was in the Stake Presidency and would be very publicly released, they had to know. We gave them very few details but they were made aware that an excommunication was coming and why. There were so many tears shed that day. The good: My daughter came to us soon after and admitted that she had had a five year addiction to something as well. Had Jason not confessed things to her, I doubt she would have confessed to us and gotten help.
5. The night my husband was released from the Stake Presidency: Because they need to have a "body of the Priesthood" present for a Stake Presidency change, they had to call an emergency meeting with all the brethren in the Stake. There, our Stake President wept at the pulpit as he released my husband and called another. (I wasn't there but was told how it went.) I am not sure that the men came away with the idea that adultery was the cause, but I am sure they had a good idea because after that, we received many sympathy cards and uncomfortable looks at church. The gossip rumor mill had begun. The good: My kids have never known life with Dad at home. He was called to be bishop when my oldest was eight. None of them remember sitting with him at church or even going to church together in the same car. He was gone every night but Monday doing church stuff. So, they are LOVING this new, more present dad.
6. Stake temple day...all eyes on me, there alone: This day was so hard. I was determined to show my face even though my husband was not there. There were many looks of surprise, pity, and sympathy as I sat there alone in the chapel session. Thankfully, the Stake President's wife came right up to me and sat next to me. The Good: I did it! I was brave and I proved to myself, my leaders and my Heavenly Father that I will be at the meetings that I should be at even if my husband can't.
7. The day I realized that the gossip was spreading to family out of state: When there is such a public release from a prominent calling, of course the rumors are going to spread. The men in Jason's council were told to not tell anyone, even their wives. But, as mortals are prone to do, some talked. I am sure they told wives and wives told friends and before we knew it, people that didn't even live in our same state were calling our family members (who we did not want to tell and who lived far away) and spilling the beans. Jason's brother called one night and told Jason that he had been told by a friend who lives in Arizona. That is five states away!!! The good: That brother told another brother who called Jason and admitted that he has had a pornography addiction his whole life and that he wants to get it under control now that he has heard our story. So, that is good...though I still seethe that these family members were told by someone other then us.
7. The night of the excommunication: This night was awful, awful, awful. I was invited to go into the council but I couldn't. I was too afraid so I wrote a letter instead and I spent the hour playing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" on the piano in the chapel. I remember after the council concluded and the men came out, that they were all crying. They loved Jason and had worked with him daily for the last 2 years. There were looks of shock, devastation, pity and grief. I hated those looks. I hated that those same men held our fate in their hands though I completely understand the process. I hated the pain that followed as I realized that my sealing had been broken and I didn't have the Priesthood in my home anymore. There was a huge sense of loss that night as that verdict came down to add to the loss I was already feeling. I still struggle with not feeling like I am being punished too. The good: I have a fond memory of coming home from that meeting and making "scrambles" for us as we had been fasting all day. We were so hungry and the food tasted so good. I also was impressed that Jason immediately came home and removed his garments, putting them away for at least two years. He was immediately being obedient to the instruction given him!
9. Girl's Camp meltdown: I was asked to be the Girl's Camp photographer this year. I think they did this out of pity as I am usually a unit leader and the powers that be knew that I might not be able to handle that responsibility this year. Anyway, the last night, the Stake Presidency got up and did a skit for the girls. I LOST it. My husband was in charge of girl's camp and was incredibly involved in every aspect, immersing himself in the week of camp completely. It was tough not having him there this year. It was tougher watching the Stake Presidency do that skit together and having my husband missing. It just all became so heavy and hard. I fled the meeting as fast as I could and ran into the woods to the archery range. There, I wailed and howled, not caring who heard me. It was horrible. The good: the theme for camp was "superheroes" and on one of the days there, my husband wrote me a letter on how I was his hero.
10. The first day back to church: We were given the counsel to not go back to church for a few weeks after DDay...mostly because they were in the middle of Ward Conference and the new counselor would be sustained and our leaders just felt like that may be a good day to miss. So, we skipped church for three weeks, sending our kids with other families that "knew." The day we returned to church was tough. My husband was so nervous. I had to march back up to the front of the congregation to play the organ, with all those curious eyes on me. My husband had to obstain from taking the Sacrament for the first time. The good: For the most part, the members of our ward treated us normally. We had a few people avoid us but it wasn't as traumatic as we expected, though still weird and awkward. Now we sit in the front row every Sunday. No hiding and lurking in the back for us and thankfully, the ward members are not so curious anymore as to our status.
So, that's it; ten of the toughest moments of the year. I am happy that I can find good in all of them and even smile at the memory of some. I know that this year has a few more tough moments in store. My daughter is to be baptized in the next few months and she will be the only one of our children whose Grandpa has to do it. That will be a challenging day for sure. We have another council in a few weeks that I hope will be a good experience. I have another year of attending the temple alone and going to other men for Priesthood blessings. That's okay though. I have already been through the toughest year of my life. I pray that this next year can be a little bit easier and that no matter what happens, I can find some joy in the journey!