For many of you who have gone through an Unintended Journey or Healing Choice restoration group, you already confronted and dismissed shame for what it is; a dark debilitating lie that, left unexamined, has the power to silence and cripple.
Precious Jewels of Friendship
When we discover that place of connectedness and vulnerability with other women who understand and treat each other with respect, the cloak of shame is discarded. No matter our circumstance or the condition of our marriage, when we keep these vital relationships engaged, open, and honest, shame has no place in our wardrobe.
These relationships are precious jewels refined through the fire along this journey. I know of many women that long for this kind of friendship in their life.
But as much as we value these relationships, a drifting away can take place; whether it’s busyness, no calendared gatherings, or we think, ‘I’ve got this, my marriage is doing great, I don’t need support’.
However for most of us, getting through this journey isn’t a six month process. The work needed for personal healing happens in layers and can’t be scheduled on a calendar. And if we’re working on healing with our husband for the possibility of restoring our marriage, we’re subject to the highs and lows of his recovery and healing too.
Beware of Drifting
The days may come when we are faced with his complacency in his recovery work, his lack of transparency, his missing boundaries, and worse, his failures to maintain sexual integrity.
Or maybe you’ve made a decision for divorce. This can be a dangerous time for a woman.
Shame is encroaching with that old lie being whispered again…’you’re the only one’.
It’s now that she needs her journey companions, yet she may avoid connection with these healthy friendships out of embarrassment.
That cloak of shame begins to envelope her and she is stifled under its weight. She doesn’t speak, she doesn’t walk toward help.
Take a look at another type of difficulty to help shed light on our own. A victim of physical and sexual abuse tends to take on the shame that doesn’t belong to her. It is the abuser that is doing shameful things. But she feels like she is alone in her trouble, and that the world will see her circumstance as a reflection on her.
I think we can see clearly she is not to blame , and we know what she needs to do. This perspective helps me to see my own hiding responses with clarity.
Reconnect for Healing
Just as in the beginning of our journey, we must remember, isolation is the enemy of healing. It is our shame that keeps us silent. Our embarrassment over our situation keeps us locked up in secrets. We wear a mask to hide our pain and our truth.
I believe that when we reach out, we not only help ourselves, we help another woman. When we step forward to end our own isolation, we encounter another woman that helps us remove our cloak and, in turn, we can lovingly help another with their cloak too. Then fear takes a back seat. Solutions get a foothold. Hope emerges. Healing accelerates.
Are there some safe women you’ve lost touch with? Would you welcome the presence again of another that truly understands and won’t judge your present circumstance? She might need the same too. Maybe it’s time to reconnect.