Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hesitant Good News

I need to share with all of those who have been praying for me and my family. I hesitate to share, because I don't want to jinx the good thing going on. But since I'm not superstitious, I'm going for it anyway. n_n

It's been over two weeks since my husband has acted implacably unhappy with me or anyone/anything else. It was two weeks this past Sunday since a PTSD episode, as I am learning to understand this craziness.

The precious man I married in the first place is making his way back to the present. He is thoughtful, kind, and genuinely concerned for my heart. He is talking, not about anything deep, but talking.

We are doing things we enjoy together. It may help that the World Cup is going on right now. All you TCKs know the importance of the World Cup! ;-) One of those things we enjoy doing together is watching exciting soccer. We are also taking walks, more frequently and longer. We are trying new restaurants and doing things like going to Shakespeare in the Park together.

I am going more places and making more social events happen for myself personally and for both of us, and he seems happy with both experiences. I am also reading (online and from books) more and more about the missionary kids real experience. I am praying for him with more understanding now, and also reevaluating my beliefs and expectations about who he really is and what the true motivations are behind his actions. So maybe it is partially due to my efforts.

But I asked him last night what he thought was making the difference. He believes that all he has been learning for the past year and a half is starting to gel in him and it's getting easier to put into practice. That is probably a huge factor in the improvement no doubt. Information is power: one of my life's mottos. :)

Based on my own experience, I think coming out of denial about his family is probably the single biggest factor in his new happier self. He no longer has to bear this burden of shame that somehow he has failed a Christian man. He is beginning to believe that the things required of him were not God's requirements at all. He is beginning to believe that he responded to the damage being done to his heart with the only tools available to little children who are demanded to comply with outrageous circumstances and crazy-making religion.

I am so happy he agreed to trauma therapy. Though he does not share with me what goes on in his weekly sessions, I am very encouraged by the more relaxed, loving human who is sharing life with me because of them. It is looking as if my hopes will all be fulfilled in time.

I hesitate to write this because my time with the therapist doesn't really support such hope. She is telling me that things will get worse before they get better. My husband really hasn't started remembering traumatic events yet, and much of his past remains hidden in forgetfulness. She keeps hinting at separation as an option, once talking about permanent separation. That's not what I want! I want us to be healed and live happily together in mutual love, respect and understanding.

She thinks that the traumas he doesn't remember will trigger huge rage, but I am not necessarily in agreement. After reading up on the missionary kid experience, it is possible that my husband was bullied, humiliated, violently assaulted, sexually molested and/or even raped. These things have happened at missionary boarding schools all over the world.

The bullying and humiliation happen at every single missionary boarding school in the world. Emotional/spiritual abuse in the form of making kids keep quiet about their unhappiness, stuff their rage, and be grateful for their parents who abandoned them; loading them down with false guilt for the eternal damnation of the natives, having "wrong" feelings and fears, as well as punishing them for a myriad of other "crimes" like speaking with a lisp or being sick or not liking oatmeal- this abuse happened in each and every missionary boarding school. That the violence and sexual molestations/rape happen at all is horrifying, but more and more MKs are coming forward about having suffered in this way too.

Our therapist thinks that I should be prepared to discover that my husband has suffered the worst abuse possible, but based on what I know about being victimized I don't think he has suffered as violently as she does. I think the abandonment, emotional and spiritual abuse are more than enough to account for his depression! 0.0

I am also sure that bullying, confusion, and ridicule by the other missionary kids was a part of his experience. Compound that with the reality that unlike public school bullying, there is no home to retreat to at the end of the school day. Your bullies have access to you 24/7. He also probably has guilt at remembering that he likewise bullied others. He tortured animals as part of the pack of angry boys aat boarding school. It is not unthinkable that he tormented other children emotionally as part of the pack too.

All that is horrifying enough! There is no need to mentally jump to to a worst-case scenario to account for his PTSD.

Anyway, the hesitancy to publish this good news is mostly based on the therapists cautions and counsels. It is also based on my own hard experiences of being married to what seems like two separate: good husband/bad husband. But is is still good news, and I wanted to share it.


  1. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I'm glad to rejoice with you.

  2. If I knew an icon for the happy dance I would certainly use it now to show you what my heart is doing for your husband! I sooo agree that trauma therapy (you mean the EMDR, right?) is amazing at dissolving those emotional walls--without necessarily having to consciously remember the trauma. I continue to pray daily for you and him to grow together and separately.

    I agree also with your therapist that things could potentially get worse before they are really better. Is this the same therapist he is seeing? Does she know something she can't tell you? Or is it a different person who is making educated guesses? But from the stories you have told, I too have thought that this journey was going to be incredibly rocky for you both and that it might behoove both of you to have permission (from yourselves) to take some cooling off space--physically, temporally--if things heat up. Not at all in the sense of "this isn't working and I'm outta here" but in the sense of "I (either you or your husband) am just one big raw nerve ending and I need some place dark and quiet to rest so I don't do/say/think something I regret".

    And I give that advice as someone who has absolute faith that your marriage can not only survive this struggle but actually thrive because of it (not because it was painful but because you worked through the pain together). So it's TOTALLY not "throw in the towel" advice.

    I would love to see some of the info you are reading on MK schools. I know someone IRL who grew up just like your husband (although I don't know what the private state of his marriage is) and I'd like to know a little more about what makes him tick. I can make educated guesses but I'd like to read people's actual experiences.

    It you don't want to post them here you can reach me at sandra DOT christianheretic AT gmail DOT com (I think that's it. It's brand new---oh, crap, I just saw the time--I gotta run!!) LOVE.

  3. http://fandaeagles.com/



    I found lots of resources from mksafetynet.net and I am reading someone's thesis from that page today.

    Paul Young, the author of The Shack, was an MK.


  4. I'm glad you did share it. It's awesome news!

  5. I rejoice with you.

    Shakespeare in the park?
    I'm wondering if you live near me or if more large cities have this going on than I thought.

  6. Lots of cities have Shakespeare in the Park productions. But I live in a major city in the South. Not Atlanta. Is that close? =)

  7. I'm so glad to hear he is doing well right now.

    I remember the first time I read Wess Stafford's book (the CEO of Compassion Int.). He had a better experience in some ways than a lot of MKs, but it was still awful how much he and his fellow boarding school MKs went through. I don't know the details of everything my dad went through, but what I do know is completely wrong and backwards to how children should be treated. My mom says it's a good thing she has not really run into the people who used to be dorm parents, etc., or else she might have gotten very unpleasant with them.

    Knowing that Ted Dekker was an MK, I've wondered if a lot of the themes of darkness and terror in his books come from his childhood. I'm a fan of his old books like Blink, but the newer ones are a bit too much for me...

    (BTW, I've noticed another L posting on a couple of websites recently, like QD - I need to revive my blog and start posting with that ID so we can be differentiated :D )

  8. Can you give me a title for the Stafford book? I'm interested.

    Yes, Ted's little brother was a friend of my husband's. They worked for the same company in Oklahoma for awhile, and you know how MKs find each other. It's like a lifeline. So I did know Ted Dekker was an MK. I like many of his books, but especially his book Blink as well. That's an interesting take on the darkness and terror. We can only write convincingly about what we know personally, imho. That could be where it comes from.

    One of the posters I read recently somewhere else proposed that you pick one, being a missionary or having a family. The Apostle Paul, the patron saint of missions, remained unmarried and encouraged others to remain unmarried. Sound counsel if you want to go into that field.

    By the way, I just read a policy statement from a mission board. They really do not give a damn about the children. Children are a nuisance and an inconvenience. Both parents are to be full-time workers for the mission, and the mission bluntly states that. Not even SAHMs were okay even when the children were very small. I read the statement in The Missionary Myth by Vivian Palmer Harvey. It's dated April 2008!!!

    I think the mission boards allow marriage because they don't trust the guys to remain celibate out there alone in the bush with no one watching. If they are right, what the heck are those guys doing serving as missionaries in the first place!!

  9. Wess Stafford's book is Too Small to Ignore; it's all about children, poverty, and how important children are to the Kingdom AS CHILDREN, not "when they grow up." It's a super cool book.

    Your husband knows Ted Dekker's brother? Interesting! The darkness and terror bit, even though I did not go to boarding school, I was exposed to a LOT of "dark" things because that is what real life is like over there. I am glad that I had my family around to help me process it, but I still think about ways to solve problems I saw over there. Yeah, any time I meet or hear of an MK it's like I'm magnetically drawn. I really didn't have many bad experiences related to being an MK per se, but it still is SO nice to talk to other MKs! It's funny, one of my best friends grew up in Africa and yet our childhoods sound extremely familiar when we listen to each other.

    I think married couples are OK if they don't have children or have already raised their children or if there is going to be enough support that they will be able to have a healthy family and set a GOOD example for the people they work with.

    Basically, mission boards run into trouble because they need, need, need productivity, and in God's Kingdom productivity is not really related to numbers. It's not always visible right away and it can seem very slow.

    It's sad how William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions, really did set the tone for things to come. Fortunately, most of the missionary families I know of nowadays (a few dozen) do not send their children away. :)


  10. You know good people then. =) And of course you would, from all you have told me about your Dad's insistence that he would NOT accept the lie that he had to send his children away in order to be a missionary! =)

    We support a couple that are now American-Africans. They love the people they live with, and the people they live with love them. They never had children of their own, but they adopted two village children.

    You can see that loving their children IS God's love preached. They don't even need a Bible, though they are still translating. =) They are the best, most loving Christian parents I have ever seen.

    They only came to the States because the mom's mother was dying. They stayed for a few months, and I taught their middle schoolers Sunday school. I loved those kids! They were amazing.

    I asked (in my ethnocentric stupidity) the oldest teen if he would go to college here, thinking to myself so he could escape the dire poverty of his home country. He said maybe if it would help him to better serve his own people, but that he would never live here!

    I had to laugh at my own presumption. Now there's a family I am proud to support! His parents will no doubt stay in Africa until they die. It is their home. Their family is African now, that's why I say they are American-African.

  11. Your friends do sound really cool. It's nice to be reminded that there are really many good people in the world, despite all the bad stuff that goes on.