We spent 5 days traveling Eastern Oregon and Central Idaho. 5 days with just the husband and I and our truck camper. We looked at mountains, rivers, creeks and one big canyon. We ate lots of vegies, hummus and nuts. We finished a 6 mile hike, canoed a river and played an interesting round of golf. We laughed. We sang. And we talked. Talked about our past, present and our future. Dreams. Hopes. Goals. Memories. We arrived home relaxed, happy to see our kids and ready to take on Monday morning.
Before we left a person, who mentally abused me, called and I was struggling with how to respond. My therapist gave me direct instructions to have absolutely no contact with this person and I worried that would be rude. The husband began asking probing questions and finally in a moment of tears and vulnerability I whispered, “They hurt me.” My words slammed into my husband’s heart. A day later he looked at me and proclaimed that I was not to talk to this person at all. If they were to talk to me, it would be ONLY after he felt they were safe enough for me. For once, in my life, I didn’t protest to his protective response. I decided to let him love and defend me.
I asked the husband how he feels when I talk about these memories. I had to clarify for him that I was talking about all abuse, not just sexual abuse. I wanted to know how my healing process is affecting him.
Depending on the memory, I feel sad or pissed. I don’t like that people hurt you. It makes me angry when I think of the things they did to you. I want to do something about it. My response to this is different then it was a month ago, 6 months ago, even 10 years ago. As I keep changing my response will be different. My reaction to people hurting you could be scary in the future.
It’s nice to hear someone defend me…speak out loud that the things done to me, in God’s name, were not right. But I don’t know what it is he’s supposed to do about it. I asked him to clarify what he believed his role in my healing should be.
My role is to listen and understand. To support. To stand up for you. I feel that I should call some people out on their behavior but that is up to God.
It’s been rewarding to watch my husband change and respond to the healing process. He’s gone from someone who didn’t quite understand why his wife couldn’t get her act together to a man who is ready to take on anyone who thinks they can hurt me. For a long time we were both scared and lived in fear. Once I started speaking up and making a mess, he struggled with how it looked to others. He was easily swayed by others offense and it caused us issues. But now, he doesn’t care. He’s quite blunt about his lack of caring what people think about his wife sharing her story. See, I may be a warrior princess but my husband, he’s a warrior prince. And when he finally gets “over himself” as he put it, he’s going to be a very scary dude.
On the way home we drove through Boise. Down I-84 past the last place I lived in Caldwell before moving to Oregon. I began to tell the story of a teenage girl who would cry herself to sleep and ask God if he was ever going to rescue her. And the husband looked at me, “And he did. I found you.” He took my hand and kissed it gently like he always does and I thanked Abba for taking care of me beyond my wildest imagination.
I believed that one day a hero would come and rescue me. Sure, he drives a big Ford truck and not a white steed. He swings a golf club and not a sword. He prefers to wear golf shirts and shorts not a suit of steel. He’s not famous or rich or royalty, at least on this planet. But he’s still a hero. A real one. Not one of fairy tales or Hollywood movies. One a little rough around the edges. He too prayed as a boy. “God make me a great man.” And as Abba answers the prayers of the teenage girl I was, he’s answering the prayers of the little boy he was. I’m not the only one who is healing.