Admin note: Many thanks to Jacy for this powerful post and for her passionate work on The Togetherness Project. We are excited to help her spread the word about the one-day conference she has created to help women who are affected by the sex addiction and/or infidelity of a loved one. You can read more about Jacy on her blog, My Name is Jacy. [Please note that even though we are sharing this on our site, which has an LDS focus, The Togetherness Project is not an LDS-focused or religious conference. It’s designed to be a power-packed and empowering day of information from experts on sexual addiction, insights from those who understand this trial personally, and a safe place to connect and feel hope and support with others facing this challenge.]
I remember sitting alone in the stillness of my 1989 tri-level home. I looked around the room, tears falling freely from my eyes. I gazed emptily into the family pictures that were crowding every shelf, and every wall. I had never before felt so broken as a human being. I had never felt such defeat as a woman, wife, lover, and friend.
One day earlier, just 24 hours prior, the smiles and the kisses were real, and the picture-perfect life was my reality. I was living my dream and no one, nothing, could have ever prepared me for what I was about to discover. No one, nothing, could have ever prepared me for the journey I was about to embark on.
It only took one 45 minute conversation to change everything.
I didn’t even know what had hit me. All I knew is that I found myself flat on my face, spinning, confused, and totally disoriented. Because behind the happy smiles that I thought were genuine and accurate candids of our life, there was a secret. An addiction I had no idea was festering. A game-changer I had no idea was waiting on the sidelines.
I didn’t know one person could produce so many tears.
In absolute dismay, with a heavy heart that was literally broken in half, and with more shock and denial and emotional pain than one can imagine, I pled:
I don’t understand.
God in Heaven, I don’t understand.
How could this have happened?
How did I not see it?
How could I have been so blind?
Please take it away. Take it away! I am not strong enough to handle this. I don’t know how to handle this. I don’t WANT to handle this. Can I handle this? I want my life, OUR LIFE, to be what it was. Please, take this away.
No matter how much I pled, it never did go back to “how it was”, and it was never normal again.
Trying to understand sexual addiction and infidelity became my “new normal”. Trying to overcome the devastating blow of betrayal became my “new normal”. Weekly and bi-weekly visits to a therapist’s office became my “new normal”. After 7 months of processing the information, legal discussions with an attorney and going through the divorce process became my “new normal”. Being a single mom became my “new normal”.
Everything that was NOT normal, became my “new normal”.
This was over three and a half years ago.
While I am proud of my recovery skills and my ability to overcome, I still have the very fresh and pink scars to prove that I was hit by that truck. I still trigger. I still feel confusion and grief and sadness when I reflect that time of my life and I feel physically sick to my stomach if I stay in that place for too long. But those times of raw and unimaginable heartache are becoming less and less invasively painful.
Because something within me has ignited. Something bigger. Something I cannot deny any longer.
A movement is happening! Something is organically brewing and its powerful force is gaining momentum minute by minute, hour by hour. I am in awe to see how many women are reaching out, how many women are genuinely trying to heal and become better people, and how many women are becoming less and less afraid and ashamed, as they search for love and hope and openness and healing.
Whether it be by just looking in the mirror and actually believing this has no reflection upon you, whether you are opening up to a trusted friend and telling them what is really happening in your life, whether you are joining the Hope and Healing forum, whether you are starting a blog (anonymous or not), whether you are attending your first 12-step meeting, whether you are writing letters to your church leaders telling them to pass your information along to other women in your shoes, whether you are emailing women as support, or writing a book, or doing interviews, or speaking out in your communities, we are part of a MOVEMENT!
We are overcoming the shame and taboo and secretive nature of this big, ugly, brewing beast and we are stepping into light. And this is the why The Togetherness Project was born: to create a place where we can come together and share our trials and our triumphs and our spirits as a sisterhood, face to face.
As of right now, women from all over the United States are coming to be a part of this day!
Women from 10 different states!
This is why I BELIEVE in the project as much as I do. Because there is an undeniable NEED. Every single day our numbers are growing in great measure… and those numbers will continue to grow because this plague is spreading like wildfire. It can be horrific, and, yes, there are times we wish it would be “taken from us” so that we could go back to normal and pretend it never existed. But this is not our reality. And the truth is, out of the despair and anguish and life-changes, there is so much strength and courage and GOOD, too. There is light and there is hope in this new-found life and there is love like you would not believe. I know because I have witnessed it with my own eyes and I have felt it deep within my soul. I have been blessed with this contagious love I speak of, and I know many of you have, too.
It is REAL and it will undoubtedly be present the day of the conference.
So no matter where you are in your journey, it is my hope that you will consider coming to this very unique day. Because this resource was created for women like me… it was created for women like you… it was created so that we can all come together and heal together.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
You are not alone.
All my love,