Friday, October 24, 2008

A discovery

As you know by now, my husband Grant is one of the contributors that are featured in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery Book. This is about his experience in writing his story for the book and my discovery coming from all of this.

It was about a year ago that I stumbled across a notice about a contest where several of the “winners” would be featured in a book. I encouraged my husband to submit a story. Much to his surprise he was told he won “first place”. It was exciting for Grant as he had recently immigrated to this country to pursue a new life and a writing career.

This is a second marriage for both Grant and I. What I discovered from my divorce is that a heart can be so wounded that in the healing process scars develop, much like any wound on your skin does, the deeper the wound, the uglier the scar. Typically, scar tissue results in a loss of sensation, a numbing of that area which has been hurt so significantly.

Although not unique, my divorce was a traumatic one. I was determined to survive it and live on. I have felt that the resulting scarring of my heart has been a closely guarded problem for me. I knew I had “healed”, “moved on” and “progressed” from a failed marriage and have been able to work with my ex-husband reestablishing a friendship for the sake of our children. Yet, I was still numb and unable to really feel the way I used to feel about people and situations like I had before the divorce. I assumed that I was emotionally damaged by disappointment and divorce, consequently going through the motions with this lack of sensation that I had grown to fear. Is that normal? I have felt numb to deep heartfelt emotions and feelings for anyone or anything. Or so I thought………

I was happy and proud of Grant for submitting his story and winning a prized status of being published in one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I know that his story relates to a very painful period in his life and to have the courage to share something like that was probably very difficult for him at first.

Last night, after a rare dinner date, Grant and I were strolling through a mall and stopped by a large bookstore. Grant was able to find “his” book. (this is how it is referred to in our home as ‘HIS’ book). We stood in the store and scanned the Table of Contents to find his story. He was visibly touched at seeing his story and name in the book. Since he had been recently notified that his copies of the books had not been sent due to an oversight, he purchased the book so he could send it to his daughters in Australia.

We came home, excited and I felt blessed as this seemed a great way to end an evening out. We plopped down on the couch, kicked off our shoes and took another look at the book. Grant went to the back of the book to look at the bios of the contributors. Flipping the pages forward and backwards, we looked three times only to discover that he is THE ONLY contributor whose bio is not included!

Imagine the crush of disappointment that is now the reality. The diminishing of Grant’s role in this publication by omitting his name in the section of the book devoted to “Contributors”. How did this happen?

This leads me to my newest discovery. I healed much more than I ever knew till now, because I now hurt for my husband and feel his disappointment. I would almost prefer being numb.

Grant shared an inspirational story of recovery and shifting of roles as the result of his divorce. A very difficult time in his life should not have to be celebrated by a new disappointment from which another recovery has now begun.

A question about my own fears of old wounds appears to be answered now. It is now apparent, I’m no longer numb, it hurts to see someone else hurt.

While I'm not able to prevent the hurts and disappointments that my loved ones will face, I hope I can be strong enough to help them overcome set backs and move on stronger than before with resolve to not be knocked down in defeat but to regain footing and resolve to try again and succeed.

UPDATE: Grant sent an email pointing out the omission of his bio in the book. This morning he received an email apologizing and saying that it would be included in the next printing and his copies of the books would be replaced with the newer release in December.

For me, this is perhaps why I knit, it is not just a hobby, it's a coping tool. I use the time to knit to ponder these moments and sometimes it keeps me from reacting immediately in a manner than I'd likely regret later. In the last week I have received four new knitting books.

Glam Knits and Custom Knits are two books that I will be using a lot. The patterns are well written and the projects look like they will be fun and engaging. Knitting On Top of The World has a few projects that interest me and each time I thumb through this book I find something new. The book itself is just gorgeous! The Mason Dixon Knitting Outside of the Lines, is a fun book, a great read and the projects are functional, fun and even conversational pieces. I particularly like the reusable swifter floor mop pad and when I saw the knitted cuffs for rubber gloves I about pee'd my pants from laughter. These two projects just suit my family's twisted sense of humor beautifully! I don't know if I'll make a set of these for my sister and wrap them up in a gorgeously Christmas package or use them as a stocking stuffer. Either way, I can hear the laughing already!

Oh yeah! I am going to be coping all this weekend with these new books and my stash of yarn quite well.

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