Out to change the world...
I believe in the power of stories, vulnerability, and connection. For many years I lived with shame about experiences that happened to me and with me. I struggled to find my voice but felt a disconnect with the feeling that I mattered and that my voice mattered, and yet the sense that there were these things in my life that weren't okay to talk about, that nobody knew about, plus feeling that nobody heard me when I did try to speak. How do you share without sounding like a victim just saying 'woe is me' over and over? I learned that the key was in my motivation and audience. Being the wife of a recovering pornography addict has opened me to a world of women who are incredibly strong, resilient, brave, and broken. As I have shared more and more of my story, I have had the blessing of having my story help someone else feel less alone. I have been able to use the things I have learned in life to encourage another person. I have found my voice, found that I do matter, found that my voice does matter. I have had various life experiences that have shown me how very much the one individual matters to God. How important each ONE is, and how desperately my Heavenly Father wants others to realize that. To realize their worth.
When I first had this idea to visit various WoPAs (the 'insider' term for wives of porn addicts) and just hold space with them, I thought there would be no real interest beyond my group of well-known friends. I got brave and posted my idea in the private Togetherness community. Within 24 hours there were over fifty women anxious to have the opportunity to put their story out in to the world. As a people, we are desperate to connect with one another. We are desperate to have our stories help someone else, and to hear another person's story in a way that tells us we are not alone in ours. We who have experienced betrayal trauma are desperate to use our experiences to educate the world on the dangers of things like pornography, shame, addiction, objectification, abuse and more. We are desperate to give hope because we know how hopeless and dark it can feel.
I believe some people are called to share, some are called to listen, and some don't have a good opportunity for either. Some don't feel the calling and that's okay. I do. I've been told that one person can't change the world, so why bother? I don't buy that. One person can change the world for one person, who in turn affects another and on and on.
My story is that of a survivor and a thriver. I will share that with women as I travel to them and gather their stories. I will share their stories for them so that they can begin the process of coming out of the darkness and into the light. I will hold space with them so that they know they are not alone. That THEY matter. Their voice matters. Their story matters. They have incredible worth.
I initially had this idea a year or two ago, but dismissed it on account of logistics. When the idea recently returned to me, I found I didn't have those same barriers at present. With my husband currently unemployed, it makes it much easier to leave the children just in his care. He is incredibly capable at running the household and will still be able to look for a job and get side work done while they are at school. This is also why I am moving forward on this so quickly. I still have hope that it won't take him long to get a new job. I even had the thought that perhaps me moving forward with my idea will be the very thing that will lead to the answers and direction we have been seeking for our family's future. Yes, I worry about the expense when we don't have regular income. Yes, I am nervous about traveling for so long on my own, and to so many new place. However, I simply cannot shake the feeling that this needs to happen now and that I should "take no thought for purse or script." Thankfully, my husband has said the same things and is incredibly supportive of this.