Trying to articulate the pain and hurt I was feeling became a hidden conquest of mine in
the months that followed the news of my husband’s infidelity. Attempting to express my
emotions and how I felt about the betrayal, lies, and deceit I had unearthed throughout this
process nearly became too much to bear. I realized I needed to define it some how so that I
could attempt to make sense of it. I had to describe it in graphic detail so that my “perpetrator”
could hear and perhaps even FEEL what I was experiencing.
I actually believed that if I could articulate to my husband the impact of what he had done to me and our lives he would come clean, admit it, express his sincere remorse, show the humility that was long overdue and that I was deserving of and then go about the business of fixing this problem that had pervaded our lives.
It was approximately seven months into the madness that I had been living with daily
when the most appropriate descriptor for my pain and hurt came to me. In a conversation with a
close friend who had been in the same predicament I described my pain to her this way:
“I feel as if I’ve been cut by a thousand razor blades. I have this image of me standing
naked in the middle of a street, alone, cut by a thousand razor blades all over my body, and just
oozing blood from everywhere. Those razor cuts represent every lie that was told, all of the
deception that occurred in order to carry out the affairs, the knowledge of the time, money, and
effort to plan and execute the rendezvous, all of the unnecessary arguments that came from my
questions which were rooted in suspicion about his behavior, the embarrassment and humiliation,
hurt, pain, anger, and ultimately the knowledge and acceptance that my husband would rather
protect himself, his deeds, and his other women than to admit to what he had done to me, our
children, and our lives together as man and wife. As I cry out for help no one is around but then
I see my husband standing on the side of the road expressionless. He doesn’t attempt to rescue
me, help me, heal me, or comfort me. He simply stands there shaking his head and mouthing the
I later learned that this type of tortuous “death” had been used before. The Chinese call it
Ling Chi – death by a thousand cuts, slow slicing, the lingering death or the slow process. In the
early 1900s the Chinese used this type of torture as a form of execution for the condemned. The
process was public, graphic, inhumane, and extremely painful. The victim was tied naked to a
post and their flesh gradually cut away with small slices from a knife until they died of blood
loss or shock. Occasionally, the victims were given opium to stop them from fainting or perhaps
as an act of mercy.
My husband showed no such mercy! With each passing day, each continuous lie, and
months where no remorse was shown, neither truths nor honesty spoken, little to no
communication about the topic. His efforts to simply act as if everything was just fine, and each
call for me to “move on” was just another slash of the razor against my naked, mutilated body.
I was left to stand alone, in the street; for all to witness and for me to endure. The mutilation never
seemed to stop and no mercy was ever shown or offered. This was 21st Century Ling Chi.
Realizing my husband had completely abandoned me emotionally and physically by his
infidelity but refused to accept my decision to divorce, I chose to no longer allow his lying and
efforts to deceive me to further damage me. I realized I had to heal myself. I could not look to
my husband to heal me; after all he was the one who was inflicting all of this damage and slowly
killing me. I made a pact with myself to no longer assume the role of victim and to ONLY see
my self as victor.
A woman who was every bit emotionally and psychologically (never physically) battered, bruised, and even mutilated beyond recognition, I realized I had morphed into someone I did not even recognize. I looked to the heavens and begged the universe for help. I asked for strength, guidance, patience, and deliverance so that I may begin to heal. I needed to bandage the gaping sores and wounds (metaphorically speaking) I had sustained with the sheer love of the universe.
Becoming driven in this way, I began to feel God’s love and mercy and used it as a salve for the wounds that were oozing the hurt, pain, and rage that had started to consume me. I started healing myself by simply praying for MYSELF!! I started to pray for ME.
As the months passed and my healing was underway, dealing with my varied emotions was challenging. At times I wanted to deny them entirely but in doing so I understood that I was standing in the way of progress and my healing. I finally realized that I had to face this monster head on. Therefore, I could not climb over it, walk around it, or dig a tunnel under it to escape what I was experiencing in my life. I literally had to walk right through hell’s fire in order to
receive the blessings and mercies that lie ahead of me because they are in fact MINE.
I had to take this walk — albeit not alone for God was walking with me and at times carrying me —
through it. This was the hardest thing I had ever had to do because there was no escaping the
pain and the hurt. I had to deal with it and face it head on. I couldn’t ignore it, buy my way out
of it, compromise or negotiate with it — I had to deal with it and, I had finally decided to do that.
I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty but I endeavored NOT to beat my self up over it. I had been
emotionally abused enough — there was no way I was going to hurt myself, too!! So, I chose to
define my hurt, pain, and anger by tapping into the gifts that God has given me – writing and
coaching others through their divorces/life transitions. Writing about how it felt for me has freed
me from most of what I had begun to harbor inside. It has helped me along my journey toward
happiness and loving ME once more.
How will you get through your pain and hurt? The universe has a plan for you and it’s
NOT wallowing in despair. Tap into your God given gifts – we all have them – and share them