My heart was pounding, my hands were shaking... I was terrified.
What would he think?
What would he SAY?
What would his reaction be?
What if he didn't approve?
I had prayed about my list and been pretty thorough as I typed it out. I'd combed over it time and time again before printing it. We won't even TALK about how long it took me to tell Danny I needed some time with him to TALK about SOME THINGS.
But I did it.
That piece of paper was my permission slip -my training ground. I fell back on it when my gut told me something was off.
My boundaries kept me safe.
I HATE NOT FEELING SAFE. As a Beehive, I wrote the infamous "What I Want in My Future Husband" list, and THE FIRST thing on it? Security.
As a blinking 12-year old, I wanted to be safe more than I wanted anything else in a man.
In Addorecovery, I learned that in the course of being married to a man with an addiction, I'd been slowly trained to ignore my gut. The truth of that statement hit me hard and fast -like a blow. The realization was at once shocking and hair-raising. I couldn't believe it, and yet...
For YEARS, I would operate under Danny's thumb... ever submissive, ever resentful. I felt his hold on me and I didn't quite know what to do about it. I loved him deeply, and I didn't want to upset him by arguing or making a fuss -neither of which I actually really knew how to DO anyway.
My boundary list was my baby step into those waters.
They let me make a fuss when I felt controlled, manipulated, or scared.
They let me argue when I felt unheard, unseen or brushed aside.
I followed my boundaries with the courage of a shaking, late-summer leaf. Barely hanging on, but HANGING ON.
Fear was my constant companion, as always. But I began to find that each time I stood up for myself, the fear had less power. I slowly began gaining courage.
I found myself needing my paper less and less as boundaries became a natural part of my life rather than an awkward ritual carried out each time I felt tightness in my chest or a knot in my stomach.
I came to find out that instead of RESENTING DANNY for not keeping me safe, I could MAKE MYSELF SAFE by listening to my gut and the Spirit and SPEAKING UP.
God meant for me to speak up. That's why he gave me this voice, this spirit, this fighting soul that refuses to buckle... that senses and feels every emotion so deeply.
I can put words to what I feel.
I will put words to what I feel.
And I will HONOR what my soul is telling me with complete honesty.
No more will I calculate and plan HOW to say it, how to bring it up, how to lessen the blow.
No more will I shake and shiver and avoid.
No more will fear of other people -husband included -keep me squashed in a tired, damp corner where only rats remind me that -once again -I've allowed myself to be beaten down.
I am not aggressive, but I can be assertive.
I can be fully honest, as the Savior would have me be, and as He is.
I can take His advice and give no thought beforehand to the things I might say, but I can simply open my mouth when I feel so moved and let the words come, let His truth pour forth from the depths of my soul.
I can let His light come through when the darkness threatens to pull me under.
I can surrender what others may think or say about my actions because I know -I KNOW NOW -that my words and actions, when honest and unflinching -belong to the Lord.
If the Lord be with me, who can be against me? Or rather, what does it matter if they are?
No more will I control my own voice, try to put it where I believe it ought to be (which -honestly -I sometimes believe IS in that dark, ratty corner)... but I will give my voice unto God.
For He will uphold me when I feel fear, and He will carry me through those awful moments when I don't think I CAN SPEAK MY TRUTH... because I usually can't. But HE CAN if