The Night I Thought My Husband and Kids Were Better Off Without Me

The air outside was frigid, and the temperature of my soul was bitter. It was the winter of 2005, and I was distraught and desperate, lying face down on the carpet, alone. On this dark night of the soul, all I wanted was out. From a mental standpoint, I was done with me, with life. The thought of inhaling one more breath of the stench wafting around my spirit nauseated me. I begged God to make the pain go away, even if it meant beaming me up from the floor permanently into His arms. Somehow, in that disorienting moment, I felt my spouse and children would be better off without me. The words of David consumed my being, “And me? I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing; make something of me. You can do it; you have what it takes. But God, don’t put it off.”

This was a year after God woke the sleeping giant of my past & encouraged me to deal with the pain of my childhood sexual abuse. Doing so began a necessary unraveling, but the coming undone was overwhelming. The immersion into the healing process dismantled me.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, in addition to coming to terms with my uncomfortable past, I was also in the debilitating throes of Bipolar disorder, a diagnosis that would come later. I couldn’t deal. The more I couldn’t deal, the more hate I heaped on my heart: hate for myself, hate for my past, hate for my present. In my eyes, I was a fraud. Plain and simple. But I also played a wicked game of poker, not many people could read my card face.

Have you ever been there? In a desperate place so full of pain or unrest that the world numbs out around you? Such an awful state of being can push us to the point of despair. The hopeless mindset means something is terribly off; a piece of ourselves missing altogether.

Shelby Spear
Shelby Spear
Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and pro-LOVE, Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life with her hubby of 25 years. You can read her stories on her blog at, around the web, and in print at Guideposts. Shelby's new book, co-authored with Lisa Leshaw, is now available: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.")

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