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What Do You Do When the Lights Go Out?

Growing up I lived in area known for having monsoons.  Weird word, huh?

Definition:  Big scary storm.  Lots of lightning, crashing thunder and flooding rains.

As the storm rolled in I loved to sit on my bed with the curtains wide open — and watch.

Last night I jumped out of a deep sleep when cracks of thunder rattled the windows of our home.  The room lit up.  Even closing my eyelids didn’t keep the piercing flash of lightning out.  I was too excited to sleep.  Again, I watched.

It was all fun and games until the electricity went out and deadness fell into the room.  The fan went off.  The clock dimmed.  I panicked wondering how I was going to shave, shower and shampoo in pitch-dark before leaving for work.

What do you do when the lights go out?

I feel afraid. 

Lights and electricity are basic necessities I depend on.  They bring security.  At the touch of a finger they are there when I need them.

When the lights suddenly go out I can do one of two things:

  1. Not move.
  2. Cautiously stumble around for a bit and hunt for those flashlights, candles and lighters I keep forgetting to put together in a safe place, just in case of an emergency.

Facing my fear is a necessary part of getting connected to a light source again.

Recently some of us experienced the sudden closing of an online supportive community.  You didn’t see it coming.  How could you?  You didn’t know you needed to prepare.  Like a source of light you depended on, it went out too.  The sudden loss of the community, history, and connections with other women was a trauma event itself.  For that, my heart is deeply grieved.

We can do one of 3 things:

  1. Collapse in pain and not trust again. It’s such a vulnerable area for us; it would be easy to do.  The problem is, we’d just be back in the dark.
  2. We can grab a candle. We can use a source of light to see who’s around that we can huddle into.  Are there other online communities, phone or face-to-face partner trauma groups in your area?  It takes bravery to open up and look, and even more courage to start over again.
  3. We can share our light in a community with others. There is such a great need.  I have spoken to several of you who have ventured out to start your own BLOG or online community.  BRAVO!  I’ve been praying for you all and asking Jehovah Ori, the Hebrew name for the Lord is my Light, to meet your hearts (Psalms 27:1).  Like new seeds, blown into the wind and richly planted I imagined groups popping up and bringing light and encouragement to women across the nation.

Please know I care for you and am so sorry about the loss.  I feel it too.  Feel free to stay connected to this site and others.  Know you’re loved, seen and supported.

Dr. Sheri

With 22 years experience as a marriage and family therapist, Dr. Sheri specializes in individual, couples and family therapy at her private practice. She believes in looking at issues from a psychological, biological and spiritual perspective. She's the author of "Intimate Deception: Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal," founder of the BraveOne Community and the Bravery After Betrayal Retreat... Continue Reading