Phantoms

Phantom:Something apparently seen, heard, or sensed, but having no physical reality.
Phantom limb syndrome: the ability to feel sensations and even pain in a limb or limbs that no longer exist. 

Imagine your leg. Imagine that something happened, and your leg is badly injured. The wound is deep and gaping. This once healthy leg now broken, damaged, and bruised. Scarred forever. 

The damage caused by the wound is so dark, so painful. You feel it through your entire body, to your very core. The damage is so bad, that the only thing you can do is cut it off. You have to cut it off and leave it there so it doesn’t kill you. 

And so you do. 

And you begin to heal. Slowly. Purposefully and intentionally. 

You tend to what’s left of the wound and you push forward, day by day. Until all that’s left is a scar. A reminder of what used to be there. 

You adjust. You find ways to stand. You make the most of this new yet different life. You are thankful for the simple fact that you survived this life altering wound. Thankful that you are able to find some healing and that you don’t live with that gaping festering hole anymore. 

Things are different now. You lost a lot. But you also gained a lot. A different perspective. A new outlook. A new appreciation for the goodness in life and for the things that really matter. 

But sometimes, so many times, you suddenly feel the pain again. You see something, or you hear something, or you simply have a thought, and the pain comes. Right back to your very core. As if that gaping wound is still being wounded. As if you are right there in that moment. 

But you aren’t.

It doesn’t exist anymore. That thing that wounded you so deeply. It’s gone.  

You don’t live in that moment anymore. Yet it somehow still finds ways to haunt you. 

Like a phantom limb. 

And you have to remind yourself that it’s not there anymore. 

The pain is not new. It’s not fresh. It’s just a memory. 

You have to remind yourself that it’s not your reality now. The wounded limb is long gone. Lying on the floor of your past. 

You’ll never forget. And your mind will play tricks on you and try to convince you it’s still there, still attached, keeping you from moving forward. 
That’s what the memory of his affair is like for me some days. 

It’s my phantom limb. 

So I just have to keep reminding myself that it’s not there anymore. 

It’s not something you can ever really forget. It’s not something that you ever really get over. But you learn to live with it. You learn to live through it. And you learn to live beyond it. 

And if you stay focused on the goodness of life, on the blessings, on this very moment, now, in the present, you’ll find that phantoms are just that.

They don’t exist. They can’t hurt you. Because they aren’t real.

Not anymore. 

I may not be able to completely banish the phantoms of our past. My phantoms, my memories, do haunt me. But I know that they have no power. I can keep moving forward because I know they don’t really exist anymore. 

What is real is what I have right now. In this very moment. The only way to fight off the phantoms, the pain of the past, is to just keep reminding yourself of the goodness in the here and the now. 
Goodness is real.

Love is real. 

Redemption is real. 
Isaiah 43:18-19

do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
These are the things that are my new reality. 

They can be yours too. ❀️
Amy Thurston Gordy

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Thank God it’s Friday

Thank God it’s Friday. It’s been a crazy, stressful, emotionally exhausting week for me.Β First off, we are in the midst of fixing up the house. There’s a loonnnng list of things around here that need updating, and so we have started mainly with the kitchen and dining room for now.

So far walls and cabinets have been painted, cabinet pulls updated, and backsplash has been purchased. After bringing home the backsplash, we quickly realized that the existing countertops that we had planned on keeping for now, were just ruining the whole aesthetic. So now new countertops have been added to the list. I love looking at and picking out all the colors/materials for all the renovations, but I’m not great at making the final decision. I second guess everything and it has a tendency to totally stress me out.

Sneak peek 😎:

And then on Monday this happens. I get a text from Jeff while he’s at the golf course.

*Note: Jeff’s words in white, My words in blue. Pictures have been edited to remove expletives and to protect the identity of the innocentπŸ˜„*

Ummm. So, quick search of the internets to figure out who this number belongs to annnddd… I find nothing.

It’s not HER number, that I know for sure. I know her numbers and this is not one of them.

But why? Why would someone randomly send him a pic of a newborn baby?

Is it possible?

Is someone trying to tip him off?

I mean, she isn’t on social media anymore. And the people I know that somewhat know her or might possibly ever see her, haven’t seen or heard anything of her since like January.

Suddenly I’m counting the months in my head.

Oh no. NOoooo. No no no no no.

So obviously, I need to see that baby pic.

Like immediately.

Heart ceases to function.

Dark hair.

Similar nose.

This isn’t happening. This is not his baby. Please God. This can NOT be his baby.

Several more strings of expletives. I’m not a big cusser. I mean I might throw out the occasional word here and there, sure. But I’m pretty sure I’ve never muttered that many expletives under my breath at one time.

At this point I’m texting my sisters, because I’m on the verge of full meltdown. I’m trying to joke about it because I don’t want it to be true but I’m feeling a little panicky.

They search Facebook and come up with a name.

Oh praise Jesus.

It’s his coworkers number. It was her grandbaby. Or was it?

Wait, are we remembering correctly that her daughter already had her baby weeks ago? If so why would she send this pic today? Does she know *________(insert expletive…umm I mean mistresses name hereπŸ™„) ??? Oh gosh. I’m gonna have to do a little more research.

Thankfully, I found that it was in fact, his co-workers grandbaby.πŸ™πŸ»

(He works in the heart cath lab, and was on call on this day.)


So. That was stressful. And maybe a little bit funny, only because it wasn’t actually his baby. It’s one of those things that is a humorous story to tell, but truly not funny at all because of the fact that any of it was ever a possibility in the first place. But the fact that I have been able to find some humor in the story means I’ve come a long way, right?

Side note….

Public service announcement:

If you have a friend or coworker that you want to send a pic of your baby to, and that person has a history of infidelity, and there’s any possible chance that they may not have you saved as a contact in their phone, it is best to put a note with the pic identifying exactly who that precious little bundle of joy belongs to, so as to avoid giving the recipients wife a heart attack. πŸ˜‚

So after all that, It’s just been a particularly stressful week at work. I had a lot of extra things to handle on top of an already large work load, and I get stressed when things pile up.

I used to be very laid back and not easily frazzled. That’s one of the things I miss most about pre-affair Amy.

It was incredibly busy and I had end of the month paperwork and accounting to do and on top of that we had some computer issues that seem to be never ending. But it was also our first early Thursday of the summer. Half of the office comes in early and gets off at 2:30-3:00. I was so excited about getting off early and brought my lunch so I could just work right through and leave at 2.

I left the office that morning to go to the bank. Driving by the hospital I glance over. I see Jeff leaning into the passenger side of a car.

Y’all. It was like an alien took control of my body. πŸ‘½

Seeing him leaning into that car in that parking lot. In my mind all I could see was him leaning in to kiss her.

That is not what was happening in this moment.

But every fiber of my being involuntarily reacted as if it were.

My heart was racing.

And before I even realized I was doing it I had pulled into the parking lot.

Thought in my head:

“Amy! What are you doing? He’s not doing anything wrong. You KNOW this. He’s not that person anymore. And even if he was, he wouldn’t do it right here in the front by the road where he could most certainly be seen by anyone riding by. Even when he was doing that, he was smart enough to not do it where he could be seen from the road.”

Yet there I was. Pulling up right in front of him. Compelled to see for myself why he was leaned into that car.

He was helping a patient into their car. He was doing his job. He never even saw me go by.

He was not betraying me. And she wasn’t there. She will never be there again. I hope one day, she won’t still be there in my head. Not like this. I knew there was nothing bad happening in that moment. Yet even though I knew that, and was able to remind myself of that , my body still has that fight or flight reaction. It’s awful. Five minutes after it happened my pulse was still 132. I’m praying that one day my body will catch up with my brain and that type of reaction to my triggers will stop happening.

I pulled it together and went back into work. Still looking forward to leaving early. 2:00 comes around and I’m about to leave and my boss comes up, says to please not kill him but he needs this particular set of statistics figured immediately, as in that very day. Statistics that our software doesn’t track, and that are nearly impossible to figure out. And I’m most likely the only one that knows how to manipulate the system to figure a way to find those numbers.

Ok. Great.

So I’m not leaving anytime soon. Ugh.😩

I do figure out how to do it. But it’s tedious and time consuming and nearly 2 hours later I’m only halfway through it. By then I’m feeling overwhelmed and not to mention really upset that I was supposed to be home hours ago.

About that time, one of my sweet co-workers comes up to ask me to look up something for her. And well, that apparently pushed me right on over the edge. I literally burst into tears. Tears y’all! Like what the crap is wrong with me?

Bless her heart. I look at her and say “oh my gosh I don’t know why I’m crying. I’m really not that upset. I think I’m just stressed and then all this extra stuff has been piled on me here and I was so ready to go home and now I can’t leave and I didn’t even know I was going to cry and these tears just came pouring out of no where and now I look like a crazy person. Oh my gosh what is wrong with me? I’m so sorry just give me a minute to pull myself together.”

πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Does that happen to y’all? Do you ever think you’re handling things and maybe it’s not fun but you’re really fine until you just suddenly reach a breaking point without even knowing it and find yourself fighting back tears out of nowhere? No? Just me? πŸ€”πŸ˜Š

I mean none of the things that happened this week were all that tragic. None of these things on their own were things that had actually turned out badly. None of these things were things I couldn’t deal with or handle or get through. But I guess when you pile all these stressful situations on top of each other it multiplies the intensity or something.
Anyway. That’s how my week went.

But today is Friday.

No work.

No decisions or big purchases have to be made today.

Just sunshine. My pool. Yard sales. And family.

And time to relax, calm my mind and look back at the good stuff this stressful week brought.

Time to count the blessings.

Turns out Jeff has a former employer that does countertops. He gave him a call to get an estimate on making ours. He proceeded to tell Jeff how proud he is of what he’s made of himself, and is giving us an amazing deal. The amount is no where even close to what I thought I was going to have to come up with. A big blessing for sure.

And Jeff doesn’t have a baby. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord. I’m a strong person, and I’m a good person. But I’m not confident that I am THAT strong, or THAT good. Thank you Lord that I don’t have to find out.

And he wasn’t cheating on me in the parking lot. He was doing his job. A job that he is amazing at.

And the flooring tile we wanted went on sale. πŸ’°

And since I got stuck at work for so long, I can get off extra early one day next week with pay to make up for it.

And my sweet coworkers don’t think I’m a crazy person. They love me and I love them and we are all so lucky to have each other’s support.

And as usual for the new Jeff, when I have a bad day, he is sweet and compassionate and does every thing to try and make me feel secure. To help me relax and calm the anxiety. And to make me laugh. πŸ’—

Blessings. They’re everywhere. Even on the stressful days or the sad days or the crazy days. You just have to decide to see them.

Happy Friday!❀️

Amy Thurston Gordy