I had a really useful day on Friday with my priest as we talked about “tin-cup” decisions. He spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland during the troubles and has seen families ripped apart by drugs, bombs, guns, booze, affairs, etc. If you can imagine it, he has seen it destroy families. More important is that he has seen all this against a backdrop of absolute poverty where decisions about the future had to be made while taking into account everything a family owned – often nothing more than a tin-cup.
He was making a point (rather strongly if I must admit) about how poverty focused the mind. He has seen people with their back against the wall make clear, sharp and permanent decisions about the rest of their lives with one thing in mind – their survival. Of course, he was comparing that to what I am going through as a result of my A. I’m in IC, my BS is in IC, we have a monthly MC session to “check in”, in order to create a “healing space” I rented another place to live, leaving her and the kids in our family home. We took separate vacations – I went skiing with the kids and friends, she went to beach. On and on it goes and it doesn't take much to realize that with resources, it’s easy to get lost in the process of trying to heal and actually forget the purpose.
Mind you, he wasn't criticizing what we’re doing to survive the disaster I created BUT he also doesn't want me to lose sight of the point. This is a time for self-refection to be absolutely certain, beyond any measure of doubt what I WANT in life. Let’s face it, there is a lot of life left in front of me and I need to be certain about making the right choices NOW so as to avoid more missteps and pain later.
And I’m getting close to knowing exactly what I want for the future. Without sounding too much like a hippie, I want peace. I want peace for my wife, my children and most of all I want peace for myself. I have no idea what form my final peace will take, married or divorced, living here or living there, shared custody or weekend custody, etc. but I now know without a doubt that my end goal is to live in peace and provide endless peace for my family.
This is perhaps the most dramatic realization throughout my entire healing process and is the result of my last 4 months in IC. There is simply nothing else that I want for myself than the simple pursuit of peace. Not money, or houses, or jobs, or accolades, or golf, or sex, or porn, or friends, none of it compares to finding the peace I am approaching in my own life. None of it.
And I realize so clearly that my lifestyle before; the affair, my half-assed efforts at being a good father and husband, my partying, my travel, my shallow “big man” persona in the office, all of it was me running from my past. Trying to paint over the child abuse I suffered. Trying to forget the sexual deviance I was exposed to as kid. Trying to lock down the demons in my brain from exploding and reminding me I’m a worthless human. My previous behavior was all a façade to help me divert attention away from the earthquake inside myself.
But the earthquake came anyways and 4 months ago on DDay my life changed forever. And amazingly, here I am, a rapidly changing man who only wants one thing from this world – peace. May my efforts today and for all my days bring this goal closer to my life and the life of my family.