The following are real exchanges between husband and wife dealing with sex addiction while the husband is in jail as part of our Consequences of Sex Addiction Series. Sex Addiction is real and we hope these letters inspire you to get help and/or make a change if you’re facing similar circumstances.
An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Synonyms: terror, fright, horror, alarm, panic, agitation, trepidation, dread, consternation, dismay, distress.
To be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.
Synonyms: be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, be apprehensive of, dread, in fear of, be terrified of.
When I was a little girl in the foothills of Georgia, I was fearless. Until the day I picked a basketful of wild blackberries in the woods and felt what I thought was a moving rock underneath one tiny foot. I knew fear that day when I looked down and saw a snake slithering away. To this day, snakes are one of my biggest fears. I was frightened knowing that snake bites can kill you. I was traumatized that summer day, spilling my hard earned blackberries….no blackberry pie for supper and a lifetime of aversion to snakes. Should I have carried this fear all these years into adulthood? After all, the snake didn’t harm me physically. My shocked emotion of fear locked into my psychological being causing this unusual trepidation.
Preparing for my husband to leave for his court ordered mandated time in Federal custody was an emotional year of planning for what we knew was going to happen. There is no way to prepare for the unknown things that did happen. That was the worst fear that I faced and continue to live with. The fear of all of the unknowns that exist because of prison walls. You are on the outside looking into a world that only your inmate witnesses on a daily basis.
The everyday luxuries up [sic] picking up the phone talking to your husband is gone. You get to talk to him but on prison time and by prison rules. Your loved one first goes through an orientation period that lasts for weeks. That takes an unknown amount of time so there is the first wall of silence and total separation. Fear sneaks up on your raw emotional state filling in the vacuum of emptiness with all kinds of possibilities. You fear for his safety and that is a constant fear in different degrees of intensity. Making connections with his phone calls to you, with letters arriving in your mail box, and an actual first face to face visit come later. All of these connections help to break down your wall of fearfulness. Over the course of days, weeks, months, and years, you let go of some of the horrible thoughts your mind is capable of conjuring up in the darkness of the unknown.
There is a quote that visually speaks about this darkness of fear.
“Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed.”
In my next blog, I will continue down this path of fear of the unknown because just when you have a stabilizing routine of making connections despite the walls of prison, things develop that you do not foresee to start the darkroom of negatives all over again.
From Hope to You