Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hide Behind Jesus--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Tuesday, February 5

     I woke up and started crying again. I picked up my phone and looked at my texts.

     “Brenda, I am so sorry. I had no idea you would react this way. I really feel the Lord expected me to do this. It doesn’t mean that I approve of what he did, because I do not and he knows it. I love you and hurt along with you. Mom”

     My eyes were puffy and red. My face was blotchy. I woke up Tom. He looked at me quizzically. He’s only seen me be strong. Maybe it’s good he's seeing this side. I started packing Tom’s lunch.
     Tom’s band, Gamma Ray, is playing the school talent show in one week. JB will be there. I’ll be there. My mother will be there. I’m betting Jesus will impresses her to hug JB. I can’t take that.

     “Please don’t come to Tom’s talent show,” I texted my mother. “I don’t want to be in the same room with you and JB.”

     I drove Tom to school. I started crying again when he got out of the car. I drove to the barn. Kate was giving her horses supplements and grain.
     “Hi Brenda, how are you?” she asked.
     “I’m dressed and here.”
     “One of those days, huh?”
     I couldn’t even answer. I walked into the tack room and started mixing up BlackJack’s supplements and grain. Kate walked over.
     “Do you want a hug?”
     I nodded. She put her arms around me and squeezed. I hugged her back.
     “Thanks,” I whispered. I suddenly remembered my mother calling twice to ask me if I thought JB would want chairs from Aunt Edie's house. Aunt Edie had moved in with her daughter and her house was going up for sale.
     “I’m supposed to call JB and ask if he wants my aunt’s furniture?”
     “I’d rather see JB have the furniture then the Salvation Army.”
     “Call him yourself.”
     I left the barn and called Lila.
     “I’ve never cried like this,” I said. “It’s shocking. Why am I being affected this way?”
     “It’s another betrayal,” Lila said. “That’s why it hurts so much. I went through the same thing with my mother when I was getting divorced. I had a lot of good therapy and my therapist told me I needed to be specific with my mother, spell things out for her. You need to do that, too. You need to tell her you need her on your side. God, I hate when they hide behind Jesus.”

     “I’ve been crying on and off all day,” I emailed my mother. “I need you to be on my team. The thought of seeing you hug JB at the talent show, I can't handle that. I'm sick of everyone thinking I'm so strong. You have no idea how bad I hurt. This has broken me more than you will ever know and I need my mother to focus on my children and me, not the narcissist.”

     “I have always been on your team, you should know how much I love you,” my mother emailed. “I didn't sleep more than a couple of hours last night after receiving your text message. It hurt me. I would not be hugging JB and I do not plan to have any opportunities to run into him. I do not condone what he has done, it is shameful, wrong and lousy. I do not feel I did wrong by what I did wishing him a happy birthday. I do believe that we have to forgive people no matter what happens, because if we don't, we hurt ourselves more than anyone else. I just hope that Tom isn't hurt because I didn't come to his talent show, (sic) I love Tom and Blake and would never do things to hurt them, so rather than make you feel uncomfortable, I will honor your wishes and not show up.”

     “When you began speaking last night, your tone indicated something was wrong,” I emailed. “I was bracing myself to hear Pearl died. You know you crossed a line. If I had just sucked it up and not told you how I felt, you would be hugging JB at the talent show.
     “This is a horrible episode in my life. It will take me a long time to process. Good for you that you're at the forgiving stage. I am not there yet. If you can keep your distance from JB, the talent show is the 13th from 4:00 to 5:30.”

     I forwarded Lila the email string.

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