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If you could write a letter and heal a man two continents away, would you write the letter? If you could describe how a Priest stood by you as your child fought for their lives and offered you The Peace of Christ, with words, would you share them, in hopes of healing others? If you could offer encouragement to a Priest who ministered in Africa and was lonely and discouraged, and you lighten his load, would you write the letter? Submit online at www.letterstopriests.com

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Drive by Therapy and My Seldom Used Impulse Control!

Dear Father Denis,

Thank you for what I will call “drive by therapy”. I did not have the courage to talk to my parish priests. The shame was too great. I had reached a point I could no longer function in my job and broke down and cried during a business meeting. Tears just escaped my eyes as I admitted to a client I was filing for divorce. She immediately said; Go talk to Father Denis at St. Alphonsus. As God would have it, I broke down to a Catholic woman. She said, Father Denis can not be shocked, and he will not be judgmental. Two traits I desperately needed to tell my story. I called you from my car and you met me within a half hour.

An hour later you had you knocked me from my pedestal and guided me to my foundation. I confided in you my husband was having an affair, and the woman was pregnant. I have three children and could hardly breathe. I sat in my perfect business suit and let the walls come down. My life was falling apart, my bills were higher than I could handle on my own, and my husband had been sending money overseas and had another family. The betrayal was running me over on so many levels. You listened to every heart break and then you made me promise not to be dramatic during this crisis. I felt like standing on the table and screaming you think I am being dramatic, she is pregnant. My seldom used impulse control kicked in, and I let you continue to tell me, I needed to get through this with a calm exterior to show my children I had the strength to care for them. You then made me promise to go forward without drama, and to make the kids my number one priority.

Then you began to empower me with strength, and knowledge to make decisions without drama. You told me this actually happens often. It had nothing to do with my husband not being Catholic, it happens and some marriages can actually survive, but it is the most painful thing a marriage can experience. You told me not to even try to forgive my husband. Visualize myself as having been swiped across the face with a metal hand. The wounds are deep and bleeding. I needed to take time to heal from the inside out while showing courage to my children. I could do it, if I left the drama out and lived day by day caring for my wounds. I took three days off work, sent the kids to school. I laid in bed looking out the window and cried.

After three days, I got out of bed and slowly rebuilt my life. My divorce is final as of last week. Our marriage could not survive. You also told me marriages do not get to this way overnight, and yes you are right the marriage had been over a long time before. I had held out for the kids. If I had it to do over I would have worked on my marriage long before it blew up. It just seemed easier to focus on kids, job, perfect house, and the look of a happy household. I had let the relationship go; I had just never imagined it would blowup like this.

Thank you so much for seeing me that day. One hour of drive by therapy was a gift of a lifetime.

You know who I am, and now you know the gift you gave me.

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