Facing My Demons: A Weekend Away

  For the entire past year of healing, hurting, laughing, loving, crying and learning to be “us” again, we have stated over and over, that we wish we could get away from it all for a while.  To just focus on the Dale and Tonya part of the equation.  The Lord heard our pleas, and through a good friend at our Vow Renewal, provided the funds for us to get away this weekend.  Praise HIS name!

  I decided to keep it as a surprise for Dale. So, for the past THREE weeks, I have had to guard my tongue and filter every sentence when we were talking about our upcoming “counseling session” that mom was coming to babysit for. 

  I had our bags packed and hidden away in the back of the Tahoe as of nap time on Thursday.  This was going to be awesome!

  Dale comes home from work Thursday night, with a bouquet of flowers and announces he has booked me a massage for Friday morning. 

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Okaaaaaay.  Cool way to start the weekend, but does he know what is to come?

Surely not.

  Now, how to get Dale to drive to the hotel instead of the counselors office……  Both, 45 minutes away.

  So, my BFF, Kasey and I come up with a plan…

Monty, Kasey’s husband, is the proprietor of Red Robin, which is in the same area as the hotel…The Waterfront.  So, we make this plan that Kasey is going to call me and BEG us to swing by Red Robin and pick up their paycheck for them to save a trip.  Dale agrees and off we go.

   When we get to Red Robin, Monty is there.  This seems to perplex Dale a bit, “Why do we need to get the paycheck if Monty is here?” 

  I have no idea what I said, but I do know I suggested we have a snack while we were there anyhow.  Monty always treats us right, and in no time flat, we had some fun snacks in front of us. 

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When its time for the bill, or “the paycheck” we came to pick up, Monty brings an envelope to our table and leaves again.

  I had Dale open it, no bill to be found, but there WAS this hotel card.

He was so excited! 

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  Waterfront Hotel is our FAAAAAVORITE.  It’s elegant, they treat you like royalty, they have  a den full of books and videos for you to borrow, a pool, hot tub, sun deck, mini golf course, and an amazing breakfast!

  When we get to our room, there are more surprises….

Monty and Kasey had arranged for us to have some amazing snacks, drinks and flowers when we arrived.  AND, the hotel manager got in on it, and threw in a room with a view and a beautiful rose petal trail that greeted us when we came in.

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Kasey and Monty stocked the fridge, too! Such sweet, precious friends we have!

If you can’t tell from the above pics, the rooms are just beautiful!

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  We so badly needed some R & R and veg out time!  It was wonderful.

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  I even got myself a new outfit for our special date.

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  The second evening we had a light supper on purpose, so we could come back and have a bed picnic and movie!  YUM.  These beds had like 9 extra fluffy pillows on them, so we nestled up with the tray of goodies and felt like royalty!   🙂

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Then, like it always does after an amazing high, a low time comes.  I never know what will trigger it, and can’t put my finger on it this time, but during our movie, I felt myself pull away from Dale. The thoughts started to come about what he had done, what had happened in this very town we were staying in.

Dale sensed it immediately and begged me with sad eyes to “stay here”, to not pull away emotionally on our amazing weekend away from real life .

  It was too late.

  The walls were up, the door to my heart, locked up tight.  I hate that.  I don’t want to be that way anymore.  Sometimes, I fight and win those battles, but this time….it slipped up so quietly, it had overtaken me before I knew what happened.

But God is faithful.  As I lay there, my back to Dale, hugging a pillow, I knew.

Despite the late hour, we were going to the office.

THE OFFICE.

The one that forever changed my life.  The one that robbed me of my beautiful marriage.

  Dale had driven by it before, as he works all over our state in various towns.  It made him sick the first time he drove back by it, but I had never been back. 

Well, that’s not entirely true.  I had been to the office when Dale first took it over.  It was a lovely visit, we were excited for this next phase in our lives as Dale took on a management position, a step up. 

If only we had known. 

  I may have only visited that office once or twice, but I have since been there many, many, many, many times……..

In my nightmares.

  Over and over the movie reel plays.  Dale pulling into the parking lot, one hand on the steering wheel, his ring twinkling, almost mocking me as I watch…..the other hand on the keys, deciding whether to come home to me, or go inside after a day of inappropriate talk with HER.  In my nightmares I scream, no…..I try to scream, but no words come out.

Silently I mouth:

NOOOOO. DON’T DO IT. Please.

Please.

Please, choose ME this time. 

Choose US.

Run! 

  In my nightmare, he shuts his car off every time, gets out and goes to the front office door. Again, my nightmare pauses as I beg and plead for him to go back to his car and come home to me. 

Instead, he follows her inside…….“The Other Woman”, wins again. 

  I feel sick as I write you this, shaken, as I let you see into the ugly.  You just got a glimpse into the hell that haunts me at times.  I know better than to entertain this nightmare.  I know that the victory is mine and I can shut the movie reel off.  Most times, I do and I win, feeling victorious. 

  Other times, I feel trapped, powerless to shut this nightmare off and flee.  Waking up sobbing, with a damp pillow from the tears that have been flowing for who knows how long before I awake.  In those moments, I find comfort in Dale’s arms, his warm, bare chest, as I lay with my ear to his heart.  I tell myself it beats for me, that he loves me.  That despite his actions, he always has.

    It’s time to do this. I am ready.

Dale and I chatter on as we drive to the office, but the closer we get, the quieter it gets in the car.  The tighter Dale grips my hand.  He keeps glancing over at me, to make sure I am ok.  By the time we cross the railroad tracks, I fear I will wretch in the car.  The office is now in sight.

  He pulls up and parks, but doesn’t shut the car off. 

“Now what?” he asks.

  I can’t speak, tears running down my face in rapid rivers, dripping down on to my shirt.  I say nothing, but pull the car handle to get out. 

I was ready to face my demons.

  I stood there on the sidewalk, finding his office window instantly.  My whole life changed because of that room.  I turn to look at the door handle that haunts my nightmares.  Sobs wrack my body as I stand there;  remembering, hating, wishing I could leave, yet knowing I needed to do this to move on.

I’ve been talking about doing this very thing for 10 months now.

  Strong arms wrap around me from behind, as my soul mate meets me in my hell, nuzzling his face close to mine.  I stood there, crying, arms down at my sides…..and then, eruption.

  It was not premeditated, it literally burst out of me….

A loud, long yell that came from deep down in my shattered soul. 

  It was haunting, echoing in the dark, damp night.  At the same instant, I turned and hit Dale.  HARD.  I took him by his broad shoulders and shook him, yelling no words, but yelling loudly just the same. 

  In a rage, I kick rocks at the building, wishing I could throw them through that window.  I wonder to myself if I have cracked, if this is the breaking point from a year long battle to stay afloat emotionally. 

  But as the anger subsides, and the quiet sobs come back, I sink to the ground feeling relieved.  Feeling victorious.  I had faced my demons and I am still alive.  Dale pulled me close, asking me to lay hands on the very building that housed his sinful actions. 

  I couldn’t, I wouldn’t.  Still he pleaded, “Just touch it so I can pray.” 

  And pray he did, crying out to Jesus to bring me healing and freedom from this place.  Peace that surpasses understanding washed me from my very soul outward, stretching into shaking legs and arms.  Quieting the tears that had yet to cease flowing.

My camera was in the car, so I told Dale to get it.  I wanted proof that this moment occurred.  A visual of my freedom from this place. Dale’s freedom from this place, washed away by the precious blood of Jesus.

  In the glow of the headlights of our car…….our hands, our rings, on the very building that the devil used as he planned to ruin us.

  United we stand. 

What satan planned for harm, our Heavenly Father used for good……. 

  IS using for good, each and every day.  

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  I faced my demons and won this weekend.  I found my peace once again.  This office building will no longer haunt me.  It has no power over me because I faced it HEAD ON.   I love that the Lord used a much needed weekend of healing, to get out some more yuck.  I don’t want it in there, festering under the surface. 

  We received a very large wound last summer, and before it heals up, I want it thoroughly cleaned.  So much so, that we NEVER have to reopen this wound again to deal with “infection”.   

Unforgiveness.  Roots of bitterness.  Negative thoughts. 

I want them all gone, so that we can move into new and total healing. 

  We’ve just taken another large step in the right direction.

Praise you, Jesus.

~T

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21 thoughts on “Facing My Demons: A Weekend Away

  1. All I can say is Praise the Lord for the healing and renewing that is going on with you and Dale. It has broken my heart to read this whole series but it as has also brought tears of happiness knowing that you did not take the divorce path; that you took the path of fighting for your marriage and what you believe in. I know it’s been hard to do this series but thank you for it. Blessings 🙂

  2. Oh Tonya & Dale, God is so faithful to you. I’m so blessed to hear about your weekend. I love that someone provided the opportunity for you to get away together to such a beautiful place. But I’m so blessed that you faced those demons head on…it would have been so easy to say….”no, not today,I’m not going to ruin our weekend”, but instead you walked right through that pain again and experienced. And God poured His very self out on you again. How awesome is that. Years ago, I waas going through counseling for some severe childhood abuse issues…..I was in the basement and all of a sudden, I also had this scream just raise out of me….I think my kids upstairs were scared, but my healing continued in a new way that day. I love you two so much….I wish I lived closer….I would come babysit those kiddos so you could get away again. I’ve never met you, probably won’t this side of eternity, but boy, I feel as though we have each others heart. Much love to Dale and Tonya and those 4 Little Fergusons. You are so loved.

  3. What an emotional roller coaster for you guys! So proud of you for facing everything head on. What an inspiration! Praise God for the healing that’s continuing to take place.

  4. Oh HOW EXCITING!!!!!! to know you made that giant step to healing, leaving pain behind you! I smiled all through the photos….the hotel was gorgeous and your plan to surprise Dale was perfect!…with the help of your very special friends! I am a very visual person myself and think snapping a shot of your hands on that building, was an incredible idea – to have that to remind you of that moment in time! WOW! I certainly would love to babysit those precious 4 little Fergusons too. God’s timing is always right…He’s never early, and He’s never late. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey so that others can be healed too. I’m thrilled you had this special time alone…it was so needed, and your hearts were ripe and ready. You are an inspiration and I know God has awesome blessings in store for you and your precious family. Know that you are loved oodles & gobs! XO

  5. Praise the Lord for another step forward. Cling to Good to keep you moving forward and it will seem like this all was a bad dream, not something that was a reality but something that you grew from!

  6. Wow – great post. Difficult to read, and i can imagine it was difficult to write. thank you for sharing your process and your pain and your healing. It’s all part of the beautiful mess.

  7. Tonya,
    You are so brave to write about all of your feelings for the WORLD to see. I know you are healing and God is using you and all your pain to help others to heal. God bless your family!
    I know Dale is a wonderful, kind man who made a HUGE misstake. I am so glad he chose YOU and GOD and is working so hard to help you to heal. You are indeed blessed to have found your soul mate.

  8. Tonya, how very courageous of you to face your demons. Even though this is difficult for you to share, the Lord IS using your story for His purposes. Thank you for doing exactly as he asks you to do. I admire your strength and courage to face it head on. Thank you for being exactly who you are and exactly who the Lord wants you to be. Will always pray the Lord gives you an abundance of blessings, more than you can receive. c:Thank you sweet friend. ❤ maryann

  9. Beautiful! God is faithful and He is seeing You through. I love that you knew what you needed by going to the office building and facing the demons. And I love Dale’s support of what you needed. I’m so glad you had this time.

  10. Just reading this now. I am SO PROUD of you my friend you did Face your Demons and you did WIN!!!! YAY for both you and Dale for doing this together and I bet this made for an interesting Counseling session on Saturday!!! God is good and you are AWESOME too!!!! Love you my Friend, LOVE you dearly and so happy you have taken yet one more step in the direction to Freedom from the Past that you now have!!! 🙂

  11. In Jesus name, AMEN! You are both being the examples you need to be. As I read this my hurt for the two of you. Then a thought came that what you two are passing through and sharing may just help someone else from making a mistake. If not then they will learn how to heal.

  12. I’m not even sure where to start. I really hope your husband never has to look for a new job. Any prospective employer could easily Google his name or yours and find that you have aired all of your dirty laundry.

    I also hope that your children never come across this information over the internet. All it would take is for them to search for your name on Google, and they could read the entire story.

    After all those nice folks did to make that weekend getaway so perfect for you, I am a bit confused as to the level of selfishness involved that allowed you to narcissisticly ask your husband to relive his experiences with you, step by step.

    • Rhys, Thank you for comment, albeit a bit harsh. No need to worry, Dale is self employed. I have to trust that as we obey the Lord and share a very hard truth per His prompting, that His grace and covering will go before us and be with us in all these things you have listed.
      Go read https://4littlefergusons.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/surviving-infidelity-what-do-you-tell-the-kids/. We plan to be perfectly upfront and honest with our kids as they grow older, our oldest already knows what she needs to know. It is our hope that they will choose differently, our prayer that they will have a covenant with their eyes to not look upon anything impure. This is a generational sin we plan on helping them break.
      Visiting that office was cleansing for BOTH Dale and I, it brought us to the next layer of healing. It was a VICTORY and a wonderful weekend of healing.
      ~T

  13. Oh Tonya!! You are such a brave brave lady! As I read your blog I sobbed tears of your heart wrenching story which also led to the trigger of my own. Know that I’m feeling and sharing every ounce of your pain. You have made a special bloggers friend in me here all the way in Australia. May god be with you and may we both never have to walk this path again. God bless, child of god! Xx

  14. I just found your blog, and I’ve spent hours reading it, your story. Thank you for being so open. Thank you for showing me how powerful our Lord is. I’ve seen too many couples break under the same situation – and stay broken. But you didn’t. Praise God!

  15. T-
    I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face…reading about your weekend away and how “it” just creeps back in when you least expect it! I am soo thankful I found your blog! It has helped me soo much to feel “understood” … What you have written explains the constant torture of the mind! It’s soooo different than I ever could have imagined it would be, to be in this position… I ALWAYS knew that I would leave if this ever happened… To me I NEVER EVER understood someone who would STAY! It was black and white to me…. BUT it’s soooo very very very different than I EVER could have imagined! ESPECIALLY when you had a beautiful family BEFORE…. How can we be here?! In this hell? I wish soo much it was “only one time”…. (Its funny how once your in the hell, you talk yourself into thinking if it was just one time i could handle that soo much better…. My situation my husband had an affair for A YEAR! A year!!!!!! A year of “places” that torment me! That same nightmare you have! Plays in my head as well! It started at his work too… Soo when I’m in his office I get triggered BIG TIME! It’s a CONSTANT CONSTANT draining exhausting tormenting of my once very happy peaceful soul! It’s been 6 months since I got the bomb dropped on me… Six months Of trusting and finding peace under Gods wing in the process….weve had powerful and very productive deep conversations with my husband for the first time … But sometimes I’m just tired… Tired of trying to be the good Christian girl that needs to “forgive”… I’m still at the “why did this happen to me” phase… Sometimes I just want to run…. But I can’t because I have two PRECIOUS GIRLS! I’m stuck in a place I never asked to be… I got dragged here by the man I love & trusted most and by a girl he let in and showed “we meant nothing” to! (Which isn’t true…but on paper that’s sure how it is)
    I DO NOT KNOW how to get out of this horrible horrible place Im in. I want to be near my husband… Because he is a changed man… Free from the lies he was carrying… He is EVERYTHING I prayed for him to be… He has been consistent and patient and GENIUNELY remorseful…. BUT…. What if my body and soul just can’t get past it… It’s nothing you can fake… It’s with me everyday…. He begs me to stay close to him…. But it hurts…. It hurts that this man, the one I see now…. Is the man that CONSCIOUSLY chose her Over ME OVER THOSE PRECIOUS GIRL of ours! How do I stop that movie from playing non- stop?! Sigh….. Anyway! I just want you to know Im THANKFUL to read your raw experience…. For putting WORDS to the madness! It’s soo NOT black and white!!!! But reading your godly, faithful posts reallllllllly have been a blessing to me!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart! Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us after we get through the storm!!

    • Hey Mama Wags, I am glad you are here. I hope this can be a safe place for you to read and cry and learn and cry some more. If you can make it through the whole Surviving Infidelity series, you will read that I too, went through all the same emotions. The “WHY” stage is part of the 7 stages of grief, and very normal. I had to chose to cast those thoughts aside, to imagine the devil sitting on my shoulder tossing the seeds in my ear. I could let them sit in there, and take root, or I could chuck them back out as fast as a good. Instead, thinking on what is good and noble and right, just like the Bible commands us to do.

      I had to remember that every time I wanted to slap that label on Dale for who he used to be, that it was me running back to the day of truth, grabbing the ashes and old filthy cloak that lay around a new in Christ man. A man who was given by the Father in Heaven, a robe of righteousness, purity and second chances, beautiful and white. I had to picture me running back to label him as my betrayer, wondering why the faces of our 4 children didn’t flash before his eyes, why his ring didn’t stop him from touching her, thinking how HE was the cause of my heartache, all things that meant draping him back in his filthy rags and ashes. It didn’t honor my husband and his efforts to show change, and it sure didn’t honor my Heavenly Father who makes all things new.
      Having those thoughts is normal, its part of what you are going through, but what we DO with those thoughts, drastically changes the path of healing for you as a couple.
      Bless you for fighting for your marriage, it’s a long road, but I can tell you 2 year later, it is SO worth it. Hugs, T

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