Now I realize that these are not people who I would naturally open up to. If we had met under other circumstances I would never have dared bare my soul the way I did. To borrow a phrase from the fabulous Brene Brown, I would have "hustled for their acceptance". I would have danced and performed and tried hard to be everything I thought they wanted me to be.
But they were people I wouldn't just run into in my normal life, so I guess I had nothing to lose. I could be totally raw and if they were horrible and mean and picked on me and made fun of me and shunned me, it would be the most awkward moment of my life. But then I'd move on and never associate with them again. I'd learn my lesson and stop opening up. I was good at faking. I could do that some more. I could just cut them off and run the other way pretending it never happened and put the whole experience in my overcrowded box 'o shame.
But instead of adding to my box 'o shame, I somehow emptied it. I dumped it all out on the bed for everybody to see and left a lot of it behind. And because they were kind and met my vulnerability ounce for ounce, I left feeling lighter instead of heavier.
Those people mean more to me than I can explain. As that group grows I hear a bit of hesitancy in the voices of those coming.
"If my experience isn't exactly with being a WoPA can I still come in?"
"What if I'm the one doing all of the hurting? Am I invited?"
"It's not as extreme as some stories I've heard, I'm not sure this is the place for me."
Bottom line, we all want to know "Do I belong?"
I'm here to tell you YES! Of course you do.
You whose husband never looked at porn but you got divorced not really knowing why.
You whose husband had sex with random people of all genders from craigslist.
You who look at porn to cope with your own negative emotions.
You who feel shame.
You who have shamed someone you love.
You who are trying to work recovery.
You who are trying to survive.
All of you belong.
Because if this wasn't a group with an open door policy,
none of us would be "in" it.
And its wide open door is exactly what makes it so beautiful.
Contributed by Buffalo Gal at onerecoverystory.blogspot.com