(more on all of this later!)
I have so much to type, so much to process... and coming home was something I looked forward to. I was able to scoop my babies up and inhaaaaaaale their warmth and sweet smells. I was able to look into my husband's eyes and finally stop missing him.
As we visited, he told me he'd taught the Elder's Quorum lesson and opened up somewhat about his addiction -he didn't go into specifics, just let the class know he had an addiction. He was feeling vulnerable about it, kind of exposed. He then went on to tell me that he planned on talking to his sister that night about it -opening up and letting her know what we'd been going through.
He asked what I thought.
"That's your beef, babe," I said.
And I really believe that. So WHY did I start crying when we all loaded into the car to visit my grandma and I heard my husband say the words to his sister, "I have a pornography addiction."
My emotions turned to Bubble Gum inside my chest cavity, they inflated, inflated, inflated... taking up every inch of physical space. And then? They popped. Stinging tears welled up in my eyes.
Why was I feeling this way?
What was happening?
I have NEVER been so grateful that Grandma only lives maybe two blocks away. I broke loose outta that car so fast... collected myself (and three kids) and went inside to talk with my Grandpa about the organ in the Conference Center. I did NOT want to hear any more of that conversation.
As we visited, I found my thoughts wandering back to my husband who was still outside spilling IT ALL to his sister.
What would she think of me?
I began to fear judgement. My shame kicked into gear and fear took hold... fear of being judged by another person.
What if she thinks I'm weak?
What if she thinks I don't appreciate Danny?
What if she thinks I'm a hard arse school Marm with a controlling, self-righteous agenda?
No truly God-fearing woman would ALLOW her neck to be seen. or her lips to move.The words "just porn" kept ringing in my brain.
At that moment, I wanted to reach up into my brain, outside where my husband was standing, out into society and PLUCK the word "pornography" away from the word "addiction" and FLUSH the dammed word.
Pornography gets far too much credit.
To be frank and honest and frankly honest, if all Danny had was a pornography issue... things would be really different around here. As a sexual being with sexual feelings, I can empathize with a desire to look at porn. I can understand the urge and the temptation.
But it isn't porn.
And it isn't *just* porn.
And it isn't the porn that brought me to the point of dumping my marriage anyway.
It was behavior. It was disconnect. It was living with someone who emotionally abused me and controlled me and manipulated me.
Part of me wanted to call his sister and explain everything from MY side (hello, Drama. It's always a bunk of hell to see you). I wanted to explain the years of disconnection, of fighting tooth and nail to be seen, of doubt and rejection, of loneliness and heart breaks, of feeling like an absolute CRAZY person who needed padded white walls... when breaks turn to shatters and emotional pain became physical. The cycles of buildup and anger to honeymoon and hugs to build up to honeymoon and around and around... the insanity of not knowing if he truly meant what he said, of believing lies and doubting truth, of losing myself, of the need for therapy to simply help me see that it wasn't untoward to expect a husband who wouldn't fight me when I stood up for myself.
And in the end, I wanted no more part of my marriage. Letting go seemed harsh at first, but the freedom and peace I felt kept me.
They kept me sane, safe, and solid.
I moved forward confidently, despite the voice in my head who SCREAMED, "What in the bunk of HELL is going on?!"
I shook but I moved forward, God guiding me with every timid inch I moved.
And pornography? It was the least of it.
So why. Why does it get the credit of it's own title?
Because as much as porn harms and kills and hurts and works a lot of bloody dirty work (I'm looking at you, sex trafficking), it's getting WAY too much credit for what's going on up in here.
I'm powerless to actually flush the word away.
But I am not powerless to surrender the shame that leaves me wishing I could manage others' perceptions of my decisions. They might judge me, they might not understand, they might believe that I'm an intolerant, strict statue of a woman with unrealistic expectations.
I can surrender that.
I WILL surrender that.
I have to surrender that.
(But I might also take a good portion of my day and invest it in burning a few papers with the words "pornography addiction" on them.)