If You’re Going Through Hell

Yesterday started with tears and ended with me asleep in the truck, exhausted from a day of going to sales looking for show pigs for my kids.

It’s been a yearly adventure for the last 10 years since my oldest (now a sophomore in college) started showing. Every year its long road trips filled with laughter, bad gas station food, and yelling at the GPS “it’s a dead-end” as we get lost. Sometimes kids tag along, but most the time it’s just me and my husband riding down the road, me reading a book while he listens to college football…him rolling his eyes while I sing loudly and off-key to the radio…me laughing while he complains his “stomach hurts” and he doesn’t know why (gas station burritos maybe? Yes he is one of those guys… who you see using the microwave in the gas station, heating up a ten-year old, toxic burritos and you think “he’s gonna wish he’d stuck with the beef jerky”).

This year he told me he was thinking about going to a sale “you going?” he asked. At first I said “No…” the knowledge of texts sent between them on previous road trips made my chest tighten and me want to take a pig whip to him. I didn’t know if I could sit there in the truck with him, as my husband and not “that man”, the one who had lied and hidden in the shadows with “the whore”. “Fine, I won’t go either then..” he replied…and I knew in my heart he meant it, and I knew, he knew, that I knew he wouldn’t go…and the kids wouldn’t have animals to show.

Was he using emotional blackmail? Yes probably, and it could have ended badly…trust me he knows what happens if I push myself, because I’m tired of being weak, of letting “the whore” and “the affair” get the better of me. It could end with me throwing my water bottle at him, screaming my anger…my rage at him, or even more painful for him…me leaning against the window with tears streaming down my face, my demons riding shotgun.

I went and he spent the first trip… anxiously watching, waiting… as we traveled with friends to the first sale. Was it easy?..No, but I only had to step out of the barns a couple of times and take deep breaths, and when it wasn’t enough I would pull out my phone and play a game (a crutch I use to keep the voices at bay). Yesterday we spent the day just the two of us and it felt good, it felt amazing…only difference was as we were leaving Sonic, bad coffee to quiet the yawns, he took my hand and told me “I am so grateful you are sitting here beside me..”

It has been a year, filled with darkness, and I have sat many a day… trapped in my own personal Hell, tormented by a “can can” costume wearing demon, but yesterday I felt the sun on my face again.

I’ve been deep down in that darkness
I’ve been down to my last match
Felt a hundred different deamons breathin’ fire down my back
And I knew that if I stumbled I’d fall right into the trap
That they were layin’

But the good news is there’s angels everywhere out on the street
Holdin’ out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one’s that you’ve been draggin’ for so long
You’re on your knees might as well be prayin’
Guess what I’m sayin’

If you’re goin’ through hell keep on going
Don’t slow down if you’re scared don’t show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there
When you’re goin’ through hell keep on movin’
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you’re there”

-Rodney Atkins-

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