Saturday, April 16, 2016

You've got some explaining to do

You've got some explaining to do.  Six words that can invoke instantaneous panic. 

 Especially if you've got something to hide.


The weather has been absolutely perfect this week.  Sunny and seventy....doesn't get much better than that.  One evening this week, we fixed dinner on the smoker and the grill, then had dinner outside on our picnic table, overlooking the gorgeous view from our backyard.  

We finished dinner and I had the privilege of watching my youngest two play on the swing set.  The swings are both broken, but they happily took turns doing tricks on the rings, diligently trying to outdo one another.  I thought to myself, "It doesn't get much better than this."  And then I wondered how many of these evenings I had missed out on during my eight year addiction.  Hundreds of them, I'm sure.

My husband left to take our oldest to cheerleading practice, and I went inside to clean the dinner mess up and get ready to head down to visit my parents.  As I happily did dishes, wiped off counters, and checked on my playing children in the backyard, I heard my phone ding, notifying me that I had a message to read.  I picked it up, noticed it was from my husband, and read these words:

You've got some explaining to do.

My stomach hit the floor and my knees went week...........

Until I remembered that I have nothing to hide.....that I'm no longer concealing a miserable secret.  

Once I remembered that, I let out a sigh saturated with relief and gratitude; and then I started thinking about the things that would have been running through my mind if I had heard those words in the past.

Oh no.
Did he count my pills?
Did one of my doctors call and say they had caught on to what I was doing?
If not the doctor, maybe the pharmacy....or the insurance company?
Did he realize I took the pills he was prescribed after his dental surgery?
Did he figure out I had also taken someone else's medicine?
Did he notice the twenty dollar bill was gone from his wallet?
Did he get the bill from Urgent Care?
Did he read my text messages or look at the browser history on my phone?
Did he notice the scratch/dent/busted mirror/cracked windshield, etc. on my van that had mysteriously appeared?
How in the world did he figure out I had relapsed?

All of those questions would have raced through my head in a span of sixty seconds, and I would have to decide whether to face him and tell the truth, to come up with yet another brilliant lie, or to jump off a cliff.  Most often, I felt like choosing the latter.  It is a miserable feeling to be accused of something, but it's even more miserable to know you are guilty before even knowing what you are being accused of.

What would immediately cross your mind if you heard those words?
  "You've got some explaining to do."
You don't have to be a drug addict to have something to feel guilty about, or to have a secret or struggle.

Perhaps you have a problem with overspending, and you are pretty sure this means your husband opened the credit card bill or the bank statement.

Maybe you struggle with pornography and you immediately fear that your spouse, or maybe even your mom or dad, found the incriminating evidence on your computer.

Perhaps you battle a food addiction and one of your family members just found the opened, half-eaten jar of frosting (clearly this has never happened to me).

Maybe you have gotten into some trouble with gambling and your wife is starting to realize there's something not quite right with the money.

Perhaps you are involved in an inappropriate relationship and you suspect your significant other figured out the password on your phone and read your messages.

Maybe you are a stay at home mom/closet alcoholic who takes your kids to Chik-fil-a story time and drives home afraid that your husband found your stash of boxed wine you thought you had hidden so well.

Whatever the situation or reason, when we are hiding something and believe that we have been caught, it's an immensely terrifying feeling.  Sheer panic and torture. 

 In fact, I know a man, a good Christian man,  who found himself trapped in a secret so deep and dark, that when he was confronted about it, threatened to murder those who had found out and exposed him.  Sounds extreme doesn't it?  That is what living in bondage to a secret life will do to you.  It destroys you....breath by breath.

But, oh, what freedom you find when you come clean and no longer have anything to hide.  When you can lay your head on your pillow at night and not worry about being found out.  When you are able to take a deep breath and not choke on it.  When the words that come out of your mouth taste sweet rather than repulsive.  When you can finally look the people you love in the eyes again.  When you can read the words "You've got some explaining to do"
 and not freak out.  

Oh, and why did I have some explaining to do?

I dialed my husband's number, and when he answered the phone, I laughed and said, "What did I do....leave trash in your car?"
(He's a clean freak and had just had his car detailed)
His reponse:  "No.  You left an ice cream cup and a spoon."

Now that, that I can handle.....without wanting to jump off a cliff.

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