Sunday Night Bonus – Falling from Grace

So… I don’t know what I’m going to do with this yet, but I managed to regain control of a very old blog I once had. It’s kind of amusing in a rather painful way. I can’t really read through the entire thing, for one thing, because I guess I still have a few trigger points.

Twisted Tree

One thing I remember feeling back when I wrote this, and some may think this is a bit of “revisionist history,” was a sense of fraud. I was a fraud. Because right before learning about that deployment, when I was in that basement feeling like I was drowning, feeling like something was wrong, I also had a glimmer of a thought: “He has high blood pressure. I could just add extra salt to his food.”

I felt so trapped then. I loved the kids dearly, and I lived for them. And when the deployment happened, I put on a mask for nearly two years – the strong wife who held down the fort while her husband went off and played soldier halfway around the world. The good wife who missed him while he was gone.

We started a support group, some of the wives of the IRR members who were called up. We reached out to one another from our various states, through email. I joined some site called “CincHouse” and I talked to other military wives, and I wrote. I wrote so much. I “talked” to them, I listened to their problems and I shared my own, and it felt for a while like friendship, though I couldn’t tell you any of the names of the women I “bonded” with back then. They were voices in the dark, accessed through the keyboard and monitor of an old Gateway computer we named “Bessie.”

Of the people who deployed when my ex did, there were a couple of wives who stand out in my memory. One was named Heather. She got pregnant on the first leave, before they went overseas, and she had to handle the little ones she had, the little one on the way, and a move to a new house that apparently had problems. I don’t know what happened to her, because after everyone came home, we lost touch.

Then there was Tori. Tori confessed right away that she felt like something of a fraud, because she and her husband were in the process of separating, and her friends wondered why she was upset about the deployment. But there was a difference, she said, between being separated and child-sharing with someone across town, and being separated from someone who was out of the country, and having to take care of that child all alone, and tuck him in at night and explain to him that his father was off in a war.

I reached out to her in an email, and I offered her comforting words about how it was still difficult, and that her life was just as disrupted as any of the other lives. And secretly, I felt a kinship with her. And a tiny little voice inside me thought, “she’s not the fraud, YOU are.”

I was a fraud from 1998 to 2011, when I finally had the courage to speak up and speak out. It came in little steps before that, but it wasn’t until an argument over the bathroom, of all things, that I finally spoke up and told him I didn’t love him. It took me a couple of months of therapy to get to the point where I could speak up.

It’s funny, too, to read all those references to “Letting Go and Letting God.” I was a Sunday School teacher at the time. I really wanted to believe that it was all in God’s hands, that there was a loving God watching over all of us, that everything happened for a reason, etc.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that I was clinging just a little too hard, because if I let go even a little, I would be free-falling.

I believe there is something or someone out there. But after the ex came home, when we got into a big old argument over me doing the Bible reading in church because women shouldn’t speak/preach in church, I realized I didn’t care enough about the issue to fight over it. And like so many things, I let it go, because I picked my battles.

Back to battles. Everything was a war then. I was the occupied territory that secretly resented the foreigner’s control, but did everything I could to avoid battle. I was a coward.

Let Go and Let God. Turn the Other Cheek. Forgive and Forget. Be a good little Christian Girl, a Good little wife, a Good little Mommy. Sing with the choir, thank God that things aren’t even worse. Be happy that at least he doesn’t hit you… some women aren’t so lucky. Have sex to make him happy so he’ll leave you alone and let you sleep already. God is so good…

No. God is not good. If God is anything, God is something too big and too busy to delve into the affairs of the little people on earth. If there is a creator, we were created on a whim. It’s up to us to make the most of the time we have here, to forge our connections with one another, to help each other, and above all, to commit the first sin, the seeking of knowledge and TRUTH.

Did you ever stop and think about that? I’m sure I’m going to offend a great many by saying this, but if you believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, you believe that Man fell from Grace by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Man learns, God gets angry enough to cut him off from the good stuff. And forget about woman. She was just the temptress in all of this, the scapegoat, along with the snake.

Religious men fear women who seek knowledge. But don’t ever let that stop you from lifting your head, looking up, and learning.

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3 thoughts on “Sunday Night Bonus – Falling from Grace

  1. So many similarities.

    I wasn’t married to an army man but we moved many times due to corporate relocations with my ex-husband’s work, I understand how disruptive it can be – also raising children pretty much on my own in the marriage (literally on my own, now that it’s over).

    And God, don’t get me started! (My father was a minister, I have not practised anything in 30 years and am now happily agnostic).

    It’s not easy but you’re in charge of your own life now…I think someone once told me to own it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking that when I read your latest. I was married to a lawyer. We met in law school. In the process of pleasing him and “trusting God” I tanked my own career, like so many women do.

      Another big revelation came when I failed the bar exam the second time and realized I felt relieved… I wasn’t ready to practice law. I’m not sure if or when I will be, but I am working now, earning money, and pursuing a different path. Not because some all-knowing God led me, but because I started believing that I should trust in my own intuition and ability to reinvent the world in whatever way I choose.

      My divorce wasn’t finalized until last summer, after a long battle that started with a fight over which state had jurisdiction. Let’s just say that fundamentalists are perfectly fine with lying, starting with self-deception. I think it goes along with the willing suspension of disbelief required to swallow religious Kool-aid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unbelievable how many different forms lying and deception can take and especially how may different ‘credible’ institutions endorse it all (or at the least can be used to endorse it in some form). Now that we’re all grown up we’re in charge of our own destiny, not easy but what a relief!

        Liked by 1 person

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