The Act

circus elephant

I went to a circus two weeks ago with my brother and sister-in-law. I’m staying with them while I do a rotation in a city two hours away from home, and I felt that I owed them at least part of my day off in exchange for their hospitality. They felt the need to entertain me, so to the circus we went—“The greatest show on earth.” I hated it. Of course I was gracious and thanked my siblings for the invitation—they had no idea how I felt. Ironically, by not expressing my true feelings, I was acting out the very thing I despised about the circus.

What kind of person hates the circus? It was the clowns that haunted me the most. Yes, I know—clowns haunt many people. I was terrified of them as a child after accidentally walking into the living room one night while my older brothers watched Poltergeist. I’ve outgrown that fear, and these clowns struck me for a different reason. From the second row of the audience, I could see past their makeup. From the second row, I could see the pained expressions behind painted-on smiles. Most of the clowns seemed born to perform. Their talent was remarkable, and they stayed in full character—their true expressions matching the spirit of the circus. The few who did not were the ones I couldn’t tear my eyes from.

Were they bored? Exhausted? Or worse—were they empty? Was this not the life they envisioned? Why do they do this if it’s not who they are? Are they stuck?

My discomfort was not due to an inability to relate. Rather, it was because what I saw before me was all too familiar. So much of my life has been spent as a circus clown—masking my heart with makeup. And my thoughts turned to my daughter, who would really start learning “the act” in two weeks as a kindergartener.

I saw the first glimpses of it today as I took my 5-year-old to her kindergarten classroom for her first day of school. Of course, I contributed to the act. I bought her the new backpack and lunchbox and all the new clothes. I packed her lunch and put a note in her lunchbox, fed her a healthy breakfast, and walked her into her classroom with a gift for her teacher in hand. I felt like a fraud—this is not the mother I am, although it’s the mother I would love to be. The fact is, I left the city right after I dropped her off, and I won’t pack her lunch or take her to school again until November. I won’t even live at home again until October. Our little family that went through all the motions so perfectly today is hurting.

Even my daughter is learning the act. When it was time for her to take her seat, she turned around suddenly and hugged me tightly. When she finally pulled away, I saw big tears in both of her eyes. I knelt down to her level. “Are you going to cry?” I asked. “No, I’m fine,” she said, avoiding my gaze. “I just got something in my eye.” She quickly found her seat and began to color. I was astonished at her façade. She is our emotional child and had never fought tears before. Crying was suddenly off-limits in her mind.

Her teacher introduced her to the morning activity and pointed out the location of the books so she could “practice reading” when she finished it. From another table, a little girl haughtily informed us, “I already know how to read,” and proceeded to name off several other skills she has already mastered. I jokingly muttered the word “gunner” under my breath to my husband—a term frequently used to describe medical students who are overly competitive and ambitious, and might even seek recognition from superiors at the expense of classmates or colleagues. I actually saw myself in that little girl—although failure over the years has humbled me significantly. Her mother later told us that she doesn’t know how to read—she has simply memorized parts of books they have read to her. This child was already part of the act—exerting dominance, seeking praise. My daughter actually does know how to read and said nothing to her classmate in defense of her own skills—keeping peace like her father might do.

I am only just now learning as an adult that I’m better off without the act. This blog and my support network here have helped immensely with that. So why have I been silent for almost two months? I’ll be honest—after a time of intense encouragement that came with my brother’s recovery and my family’s healing, the reality of normal life hit hard:

In response to my own journey, I heard hatred from believers louder than I heard love. Many of you were supportive and encouraging, but it takes ten times as much of that to overcome one hate-filled comment. Even still, thank you for being there.

After my brother became more and more himself again, I realized that he’s still the same person who didn’t acknowledge my marriage or the birth of my children. Yes, we talk on the phone weekly now—something we never did before. No, I don’t enjoy it. I’m still not sure he loves me at all, and the connection we had started to build before he became sick has dwindled to nothing. Still, I persist. This will not fail for lack of effort.

And—this is the hardest thing to write—after all of my words about love winning, I realized last month for the first time how my heart is prone to wander. No, I did not have an Ashley Madison account and never would. Attacks on my heart are less obvious than that—and thus perhaps more dangerous. They are unexpected, not sought. They come in the subtle form of gentle words and thoughtful questions and humble praise of my beauty and confidence and competence. For the first time in nine years, I had strong feelings for someone who wasn’t my husband. We worked together for a month, and nothing happened between us beyond his expression of feelings for me (on my last day of the rotation) that he insisted he would never act on and my confession that I shared them—then the mutual recommitment to protect our hearts for our spouses. He was only in my area of work for a brief time, and we will not work together again. I told my husband everything that same day, and his graciousness to me was overwhelming. My feelings had been present for weeks, but I had refused to acknowledge them until my colleague put them into words—I’m glad he did, because it shook me awake. I finally, finally understand why some people are so cautious with things like this. I have finally seen the danger of what my heart is capable of and been terrified enough to draw the line a mile from the edge of the cliff. The danger will remain and perhaps increase as my confidence and competence grow—but I will be prepared.

In the mean time, I am deeply feeling the distance from my husband while I work here and grieving the way my heart failed him. He is the one who has been there for nine years. He is the one who has done most of the work in raising our two daughters. He is the father of the child that draws flesh inside of me right now. He is the one who has loved me through every blog post I have written and walked my heart through the season that surrounded each one. He knew me—every flaw, every failure—and loved me anyway. He made me into the woman that other men fall in love with. How is that fair? He took me out on two date nights in a row this weekend, and the conversation was precious and healing. Russell, my heart is yours only for the rest of our lives.

So, readers, how is this for wiping off the painted face and ending the act? It’s probably more than you ever wanted to know in explanation for my silence. But I need you. With tears pouring down my face—tears that I will not begin to fight—please understand that I need you. My silence is because of a stunned spirit. The magic of June faded into the reality of July. Many believers rank highly on the list of the meanest people I know. My brother came back from a brush with death, and he is still a narcissistic jerk. And my heart that was so moved by love is capable of the worst imaginable things. I…am…broken. And I feel like God is silent. This is why I haven’t written. I’ve been afraid of what I would write. Afraid of what you would write in response. I am a master of the act, but I’m so sick of performing it.

So this is the kind of person who hates the circus. A disenchanted member of it. And as I dropped my daughter off at kindergarten, I wanted something better for her. I don’t ever want her to wear a mask that fails to synchronize with the status of her heart. I want her to be more concerned about her heart than about her backpack or her clothes or any aspect of her appearance. I want her to be humble and honest about her talents and abilities, but I also want her to be strong enough to defend them. I never want her to hold back tears when she needs others to see them and walk beside her the way I need you right now. I want her to feel the freedom to not be anonymous the way I am—to be wildly who she is instead of captive like an elephant that can stand on its head or balance on a stool. If my kindergartener can walk through the coming years without succumbing to the rigidity of the act—something I didn’t learn until adulthood—she could be so much more thrilling to watch than the greatest show on earth.

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28 thoughts on “The Act

  1. By the time you were talking of your tears mine were falling also.
    The mask, makeup, what have you, the act… It’s so easy to see the outside, the freedom, but actually attaining it… seems so unreachable. I guess as adults it’s going to be a step by step, moment by moment thing that we need to build on and take forward steps with as we can, without worrying too much about the backward – into the shadows – steps we will take along the way.
    I often wonder at what point in my life did I learn the art of presenting… I think it was an accumulated series of events. I’m envious of others around me who seem so free to be them.

    I’m glad you took your time to post. For whatever reason it was. Hey, I guess that’s a step towards authentic you, regardless of anonymity that you have on here. You are being ‘real’, and it has to start somewhere… here is as good a place as anywhere.

    Others will have better words. So I’ll stop now.
    I hope your time away from your family feels short in time.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your honesty is incredible. I’m glad you wrote this. I can relate to a lot of it.

    Also, have you ever seen The Kids Are All Right? It’s a great movie about an infidelity that doesn’t fall into either the trap of “one partner is eeeevil” or “well, clearly if you were tempted for even a moment, you aren’t in the perfect relationship you are destined to be in for the rest of your life.” Not that you were unfaithful yourself, but I’m guessing you were raised in a “he who even looks at another man’s wife has committed adultery in his heart” guilt bashing world, and that movie might be a nice antidote.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lane. I was raised in the environment you mentioned. Actually, that’s still the way I think. I have always allowed myself to form friendships with men, because I had never been tempted by those relationships. This was a shock to my system, and I will probably let myself feel discomfort for a while without seeking an antidote. My husband and community don’t need to intervene here…I am a self-confessor and self-punisher. Yes, even just for thoughts, and even for thoughts that many would say were innocent and harmless. The problem was not so much the content of my thoughts—it was the object. As hard as I am on myself, I would never judge a member of the Ashley Madison list. My heart is capable of the same—just not likely in the same way.

      Anyway, thank you for your kindness and gentleness with me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. CC,

    Your post was so heart-wrenching. Heart wrenching because I could relate to your every point, your every struggle. What you shared was so honest and so beautiful.

    Regarding your daughter starting Kindergarten I nearly cried at your words remembering when my daughter and son started Kindergarten 4 and 2 years ago, respectively. The hardest was when my daughter went to school because I saw her personality temporarily change from outgoing and expressive to quiet and timid. It was very hard to witness. She became overly obsessed with being good and obeying all the rules and so lost a little bit of her that I so loved which were the parts of her that were nothing like me! My daughter has since found a balance although she is still way too be worried about being good. Sometimes I wish she’d just get in trouble every once in a while. A lot of this is just projection, not wanting my daughter to suffer as I did from having to shove down my authentic self. Your daughter will be okay as she adjusts to school. There will be so many opportunities for you to encourage her to be her without the mask while still being able to function in society. 😊

    Regarding your developing feelings for a co-worker. Ah man, I feel your sense of guilt dripping off the screen. Not that I’m meaning to set myself up as the ultimate judge of morality but you cannot compare this with those who opened up Ashley Madison accounts! Why not? Because those people were actively looking to hook up! Even if your heart “wandered,” and even if you made a series of small “wrong ” decisions I don’t believe at any point you said “screw it–I’m going to do whatever the hell I want even if it completely destroys my husband!” You are human and it seems completely normal (at least to me) to become emotionally attached to people you depend time with.

    It really does matter what you CHOOSE to do not what you FEEL. I see that you have lots of Christian guilt about even having those thoughts but that is not the same as cheating. During this time of upheavel and confusion about your changing world view it makes sense that your heart is searching. Just something to be aware of. I think it’s really great and brave that you are being open with your husband about this. In my opinion that’s the best thing to do when these really startling and upsetting this come up. It’s not that your husband isn’t fantastic or that you don’t love him it’s that you at human and it is really hard to make just one person our everything.

    Regarding Christians being mean. I have found this to be true in many cases. It is very difficult to be honest about losing or questioning faith without your Christian friends being challenged about their own and getting down right nasty about it (in most cases). It’s fine if you have “doubts” until you cross a particular line, I’ve found. The line is when they think you might actually be losing your faith. Where you say you don’t think this Christianity thing is true, or you are at least having major doubts about it, and then you are now considered an outsider and are now “the lost” or the “unsaved.”

    Actually, it’s worse than that. You are considered to be rejecting God when really you want to believe you just can’t because it’s increasingly making less and less sense! If you haven’t already check out the deconversion tag and you will see many people who are going through similar things and are extremely supportive. I am not making any assumptions about where you are in your faith or trying to sway you but if you are looking for a supportive environment that’s where it’s at. There are also some fantastic Christians out there who have the confidence and empathy to give you some space and to diologue with you to sort it out regardless of the conclusion you come to. These are much harder to find but they are treasures when you find them.

    Personally I am going through a deconversion myself. 4 months ago I stopped believing I was a bad person and the doctrine of sin fell apart which made me question everthing I had ever learned. I allowed myself to question everything and the conclusion I’ve come to is a personal god does not exist. I don’t think any sort of god exists. I guess that makes me an atheist although I still have some questions about what I see as some sort of benevolent universal “glue” that holds everything together. Maybe that’s my mind’s defense against nihilism, I don’t know. I cannot say there is NO spirituality. I just know that no religious views or superstitions fit so I just say I’m agnostic. What is so very odd is that being an ex-Christian who so faithfully and radically believed still makes me feel like a Christian and I still approach many things as a Christian, probably out of habit.

    Sorry about my rambling. I just identified so much with what you are saying. I wish I could meet you in real life and hug you and talk for real (sorry if that sounds creepy, ha). It sucks to go through this stuff alone. Even if this blog is the only place where you can be authentic at least it is a start. You are not alone, at least in the blogosphere!

    By the way, I also have an extremely self-centered brother who doesn’t get it!

    ((HUG))

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate your “rambling” more than I can say, and I also wish my friendships here could be experienced over shared hugs and shared tables and cups of coffee.

      As for faith…I do have it still. At least more than I did before—but I can relate strongly to your journey, as you know. And it somehow seems unsurprising to me that my confidence would wax and wane and that I would fall apart as soon as I thought I was finding myself again. We live in cycles like that, and this one will pass. It’s just so battering until it does. I’ve never felt so lost for so long. Even though I do feel guilt, I think I would feel it regardless of my faith—I know right from wrong. My own husband is defending me—“J, you’re HUMAN.” Ugh—don’t remind me. So human. Can’t I be better than that? I am more than animal drives, right?

      I am thankful for a husband that I am safe being honest with (sometimes too honest) and thankful for the safety of this community as well—especially fellow wives and moms who can so easily relate to that gigantic part of my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad my ramblings are appreciated. 😀

        Aww, you have a very sweet husband! Hopefully that doesn’t make you feel even MORE guilty, although I suspect it does. Ha.

        Are you more than your animal desires? Hmm…well, what sets us apart from the majority of animals is that we have a “conscience” and the ability to choose. Most of the time that is a GOOD thing, but for some of us (myself included) it makes us feel guilty more often than we should.

        ((MORE HUGS!))

        Like

  4. You have a human heart. We all do. I suspect your more real than you’ve ever given yourself credit for. The masks, the acts . . . because of their inauthenticity they carry far more weight than that which is within us, our authenticity. This is a blow to your system. We’ve all had them for all sorts of reasons. Don’t let the masks, the act, dominate or linger longer than is necessary. Don’t let it cover your authenticity. ❤

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    • This part here -> “Don’t let the masks, the act, dominate or linger longer than is necessary.” didn’t come out right. I meant to say don’t let the “stunned” issue linger longer than is necessary. I noted you wanted to linger with the discomfort a little longer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh J.
    First of all—let me offer you a tight, fortifying hug. I know you are going to be okay—better than okay. Your willingness to be honest and take off the mask is all you need to lift up yourself and your family.

    The reality of ‘acting’ ourselves is all too familiar. For society to work, we sacrifice parts of ourselves. I wish we didn’t have to do it so often. The vital task is finding friends that become family through mutual understanding. You know you are home when the mask is off. I know you’ve found your home. Take strength in that fact, so many never do.

    Be the safe space for your daughter. As Quixie and I know from experience, there will be a lot of changes. As long as you keep open communication as your priority, you’ll both be fine. Some people fly their true colors proudly while others only unfurl them with those they trust. No matter which path she chooses, she will thrive if she has a home where the mask can come off.

    You and Russell are the real deal. Monogamy is the standard in our society, but that doesn’t mean it is easy. We didn’t need Ashley Madison to prove that. A monogamous marriage is a commitment to one person, but that doesn’t mean you stop having the capacity to connect with others. You experienced that first hand. You chose your marriage and that is what matters. Try not to be too hard on yourself, J. You did exactly what you needed to in an emotionally charged situation. Marriage doesn’t mean you’re never tempted, it means always choosing your spouse.

    You took your mask off, J, and revealed a superb human being.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Madalyn,

      I wanted your words today and I’ve never even met you. I’ve come to trust you, and I truly wish the tight, fortifying hug could be in person (I think I might actually be near you right now, too!).

      Thank you so much for all you wrote, and for being here even after my long absence. You all left the light on for me, and this is absolutely a place I can call home—here in this community, with my husband, and with a few others. For most of the rest of the world, the mask stays on and probably should. I like what you said about providing a safe place for my daughter to take hers off—maybe it’s okay if it sometimes stays on away from home. Maybe part of my problem is too much authenticity and vulnerability with people who should never be able to see that much of my heart.

      I still need to spend some time thinking about where I fell apart—we call it a “root cause analysis” at work. But in the mean time, your words are healing. And I absolutely choose my husband, and I’m so thankful that he continues to choose me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • J,

        Are you really? Are we missing an opportunity to have that face-to-face contact? Email me if you want to try to work something out.

        I feel so conflicted with authenticity. On the one hand, I feel like I’ve always been too closed. On the other, I feel like I don’t need to be open with everyone. Reading Brene Brown’s ‘Daring Greatly’ made me think about that conflict a lot. I’m a little more open than I was before, but I am a lot more honest. Not that I was dishonest before, but I wouldn’t speak my truth as freely as now. I stand up for myself much more than before. She has a new book that just came out that I’m interested in as well. Perhaps you’d find them valuable.

        Keep healing, J. ❤

        Like

  6. This statement here that you made CC: “Maybe part of my problem is too much authenticity and vulnerability with people who should never be able to see that much of my heart.” This line of thought has been on my mind since I read your post earlier this morning. I learned this the hard way with so many people in my life. Not everyone is entitled to our authenticity and vulnerability. Figuring that all out isn’t easy.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I think we’re sometimes plagued with the idea of “supposed to.” That our lives are “supposed to” turn out a certain way. That brothers and sisters are “supposed to” act in certain ways. That husbands and wives are “supposed to” be certain things. That big girls aren’t “supposed to” cry.

    Is it possible that some of your recent disappointments (with your brother, with yourself, with other Christians) are coming from the fact that they don’t match up to the idealized template?

    My understanding of Buddhism is that a lot of emphasis is placed on contentment and acceptance. Those ideas have resonated with me a lot over the last several years, even though I’m not a Buddhist. Let’s take your brother, for instance. He may always be a little self-centered and not take time to notice birthdays, weddings, etc. He might even notice them, but thinks it would look cheesy and formal to acknowledge them. If he never changes, could you still get something out of your relationship with him? And if so, do you think you could be happier with your current relationship with him if you weren’t waiting for a better one?

    I’m not naive — I know that life really does come with certain responsibilities that can’t be ignored. But so many of these “supposed to”s are tacked on for no good reason. In my case, the strict, conservative religion I was raised in had a lot to do with it. My life was “supposed to” follow a certain track. And I did well at keeping it on that track, until I stopped believing in Christianity and God. At that point, much of my family felt that I had gone off the rails, even though everything else in my life (like with work, my wife, my children) was fine. If my parents could be more objective and question their assumptions about what should be, they would see that there’s no fire. There’s not even any smoke.

    For me, letting go of the notion that some being was going to give me a pass/fail grade at the end of my life freed me up to take full responsibility for my life. If I wanted to live morally, it was because I wanted to live morally — not because someone else was telling me to. And it also meant that the little imperfections of life were okay. My parents are saddled with fear over the fate of my soul, and I’m so sad for them about that. If they see one of their loved ones make a “mistake,” like maybe come out as gay, they can’t accept it, because it doesn’t fit within the realm of “supposed to”. That’s such a bleak way to live, and it’s completely unnecessary.

    Anyway, that’s something that my wife and I have talked about since our deconversion, and I thought it might resonate with you too.

    Btw, I hope this comment isn’t too disjointed… you have no idea how many revisions I made to it! I’m tired of looking at it now, so I’m just going to click “post” and be done with it. :/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nate, you have no idea how much your paragraphs about expectations sound like my husband!

      The more I get to know my brother, the more I realize that he has a real personality disorder. I don’t mean that in a silly way or in a sibling annoyance way—I mean that as a doctor (almost) I would diagnose him with a personality disorder. So no, I don’t have high expectations of him. Many would argue then that I should be able to be disappointed—where there are limited expectations, there is little room for them to not be met. But the fact is, it’s disappointing to have such low expectations. I much prefer the relationships where I can place them high and still see them met—and so many of my relationships are like this. For that I am thankful.

      I don’t think my “supposed tos” are because of faith or some idea of an eternal being having opinions about my actions or ideals. Whether I believe that or not is irrelevant to me and doesn’t change my morality. I am supposed to reserve those feelings of love (that kind of love) only for my husband, because that’s the promise I made to him and that’s the secure kind of love he deserves in response to what he offers me (and even if he failed to offer it to me, because my promise was not dependent on his performance). I like to think that there’s a deity who is good and who helps me discern these things, but if there’s not, nothing changes for me. I still know better than to do what I might have done.

      Does that make sense? Just be assured of this—my disappointment is not because I failed God—it’s because I failed my husband. I fixed it before any major damage was done, but I’m still shaken up by the realization of what I’m capable of. I think it’s a healthy kind of shaken up—and I bet y’all will let me know if I take it too far. 🙂

      I am okay. And Russell will tell you he’s fine. He says “Of course men are attracted to you. Of course you’re attracted to them…” And sometimes I wish he would just scream at me or slam a door or something. But we’ll get through this. I’m committed to honesty, and I’m committed to Russell.

      Like

      • “I mean that as a doctor (almost) I would diagnose him with a personality disorder. So no, I don’t have high expectations of him. Many would argue then that I should be able to be disappointed—where there are limited expectations, there is little room for them to not be met. But the fact is, it’s disappointing to have such low expectations. I much prefer the relationships where I can place them high and still see them met—and so many of my relationships are like this. For that I am thankful.”

        I can relate to this. I’ve got quite a few family members who I relate to primarily by lowering my expectations waaaaaay down, and it doesn’t stop being disappointing just because the expectations and the behavior generally fit. Having people who can fulfill high expectations is so much better. This is why chosen families rock.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nate, you have no idea how much your paragraphs about expectations sound like my husband!

        Well, Russell has always seemed like a very wise individual to me. 😉

        And for what it’s worth, I completely agree with everything you said about morality and about your commitments to your marriage. I didn’t mean to imply that those shouldn’t be a big deal to you. It’s just that for me those kinds of things were almost easier once I was no longer religious, because I was keeping those commitments because I wanted to. That’s also not a knock against religion — I may not have been practicing it correctly. But it’s the same idea that companies try to use when they offer stock options to their employees. Hopefully, it will encourage the employees to work harder now that they have a stake in the company, rather than just doing what they’re told. I always had a stake in my own life, but when I no longer had to do things because of religious rules, it really highlighted that there were other very good and important reasons to continue doing those things.

        Anyway, it sounds like you guys are handling all this in a really good way. Honesty and open communication are the keys, so kudos to you for having the guts to carry through with that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve come face to face with my mask more often than I’d like to admit, especially when I consider the fact that I’ve done my damnedest to throw it away every time. It just keeps coming back. Perhaps I never really let it go in the first place. I think it’s so ingrained in us to play this game that it becomes almost impossible to step outside of that and just be… well, authentic for a change. Perhaps we’ve all lost something of who we are, who we could be…
    I could tell you not to beat yourself up about what happened between you and your colleague but I think that would be like telling you to shut up and stop talking about stuff. Your own, personal authenticity shines through here, and I’d wager that there aren’t many of us who’d be so open about something like this. Like you, I just can’t find it in me to judge those who had Ashley Madison accounts either. There are reasons people make certain choices, and while those choices may quite obviously be destructive ones at times, it doesn’t mean I have some kind of mystical insight as to why they were made. People are thinking, feeling mysteries who sometimes don’t behave in the best interests of themselves or their partners.
    I’m not sure what I’m saying here. I never am. I just wanted to respond because your authenticity moved me. I hope it isn’t another two months before we hear from you again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. God is not silent. He’s comforting you here with the gentle healing words of many who don’t even believe he exists. To me, their compassion is one of the strongest pieces of evidence I can muster.

    The cliff is real. I’m hurting with you but so thankful that you see it. What is a life without mistakes? A life without learning. And as several have said, temptation is human, action is distinctly different.
    Have I gone too close to the cliff? I’m one who has tried to draw my line a mile from it. Not because I am more righteous but because I am less. I doubt my own insight and stopping power. If my emotions led me to stray, rather than my hormones, the momentum would be that of a train – – often requiring a mile to stop.

    I’m proud of you and I stand for you and your marriage with my friend. God is not silent – – he just uses his most precious creations to comfort each other more often (much more often) than the extraordinary encounters we were taught to expect.

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    • And there’s Pascal. Of course you know I needed to hear from you. If I haven’t said to your face or in writing that your personal rules about friendship with women were a little extreme, I’ve at least felt it. I’m sorry, and I hope you’ll forgive me for not understanding before. You were right. I see it now—and yes, the danger for me is also emotional, not hormonal (at least I think—although I’m wishing I could blame this all on my pregnancy). Why couldn’t I just listen to you? Why did I have to learn the hard way?

      And yes—these replies have touched me. For some reason, I was expecting Berean & Co. to swoop in at my weakest hour and relish in my hypocrisy. That may still happen, but I now feel strong enough to take it if it does. Strong enough to ignore it.

      Thank you, brother, for adding your voice and letting God show me comfort and grace through you today.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The Cliff | russell & pascal

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