A Personal Update

What’s going on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For those of you who might not follow me on Facebook, I wanted to give a personal update. Some of you might suspect this is about the divorce, but no, it is only in a tangential way about the divorce. One thing I decided early on was I was not going to be a victim. I could lie down and be bitter and mourn, but that would do me nothing.

Keep in mind I am not denying there was no mourning at all. There was and that is good and healthy. There were and are a lot of painful emotions to work through. Even to this day, the divorce hits me hard on some level everyday and I notice ways that I am different as a result, such as I do tend to be much less trusting of people nowadays. After all, someone who made a major promise to me shattered that promise.

One night in talking to some friends on Facebook Messenger, I remember somehow the suggestion coming up about how I could continue my education as well. I have gone down that path and I do have a job where I am earning money, even though I do not like it, and I have been saving up. I am still quite hopeful to get scholarships, but I have completed an application process.

My pastor told me that since I attend a Southern Baptist Church, which I found through DivorceCare, that my tuition would be automatically reduced if I attended a Southern Baptist Seminary. I asked him for a list and saw that New Orleans Baptist was on the list. I knew a number of people down there and their strong apologetics focus so that meant my path was decided easily.

I believe it was a week ago today that I got the news that I have been accepted. I was also told that I would get my degree faster, which is the goal, if I were to move down to New Orleans myself. Right now, I am trying to do all I can to find out about employment, a church home, scholarships, and where I will live on campus.

So this update is also a request to those who want to contribute to this cause and have supported me on this journey and want to keep supporting me. I think the only furnishing in the apartments they have is a desk, so no doubt, I will need much of my own furniture so someone who is local and has something they want to donate, that would be fine. As I said, I have been saving money, and I am frugal, but I do not know for sure about scholarships entirely and there are living expenses.

My apartment will be one that is pet-friendly. My cat is a non-negotiable as he has been my companion for about a decade now and I refuse to leave him behind, especially since now I am the only person he truly trusts completely. He has been abandoned by enough people in his life and I’m not going to be one of them. However, I will be paying for vet care for him and other such necessities. If they have a Banfield down there, great, as I am part of their program. If not, I will have to do something else.

Of course, there’s other needs. I don’t know if the apartments include coverage of electricity, internet, water, etc. at this point. There is health and dental and vision insurance. There is auto insurance. I also have to keep up my cell phone and groceries and other living expenses.

While I am seeking employment down there, the ideal would be able to have enough coming in that I can do full-time ministry work. That way I can do all the work for my classes easily and I would be thrilled to get the podcast up and running again and have more time for writing ebooks. I also would like to be able to pay someone who can help me make YouTube videos.

At this point, I do receive a good number of donations, but the more that come in, the easier it gets for me. There are two ways you can donate. You can regularly donate through Patreon. That can be found here. You can also contact Mike and Debbie Licona and ask how you can donate in a tax-deductible means for me.

My plan for now is to be working on a Master’s in Philosophy first. I plan on focusing on my Thomism and learning how to better defend the existing of God and the reality of miracles. While doing that, I will continue learning Greek as I have a New Testaments scholar friend who teaches me and if I find someone there who can teach me in person, all the better. Then when I get both of those taken care of, I plan to do a PhD on the New Testament on the topic of the resurrection of Jesus.

Even if the semester hasn’t started yet, I plan to move down there as soon as I can. I want to get settled in, work at a good church if possible, make new friends, and I have no objections if I find a special lady down there who wants to partake of the journey with me. Thank you all for your support and prayers in this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Theology on the Spectrum talk

Ready to talk about Autism and the church? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. This blog is going to be half-done in a sense so that my ministry partner can get it out, so come back later. Tomorrow at `10 AM EST, I will be doing an interview on David Popiden’s show again with my friend Erin Burnett, whose book I reviewed here, on Autism and the church.

The link can be found here.

Please do be watching!

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Sharing My Debate

Where can you find a debate? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Just wanting to quickly plug this debate I did for today’s blog. You can watch it here. Please leave a comment on the video as well and I appreciate any feedback.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Virgin Birth (Which I do affirm) debate

How did the debate go? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Not a lot of reading today, but some viewing. Check out a debate I did with John Richards on the virgin birth, which I do affirm.

You can watch it here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

ETS 2021

What did I think of the conference this year? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So the reason there wasn’t a blog last week is that I was at ETS and way too busy to do a blog. ETS is the Evangelical Theological Society and they have a meeting every year. This year, it was held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This was the second time I had ever gone to ETS and the first time I had gone to Texas.

So at the start, what I saw of Texas, I loved. The people were really nice and the layout of the area I was in was beautiful. I could walk down the streets and feel very safe and there was not really a lot of traffic either. If things in our country get really bad, I wouldn’t mind moving to Texas someday.

On a historical note, the hotel we stayed at was also the last place JFK stayed at before he was assassinated. The area of the convention also used to be known at the start of the last century as Hell’s Half-Acre. It was called such because there were several businesses allowed to run that shouldn’t have, but they supported the economy so the law was more lenient. Gamblers like Bat Masterson and Wyatt Earp came through, but so did villains like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and it was referred to as a Den of Sin. Now here we are over a century later and evangelicals have redeemed it for a conference.

Also, when I said we stayed at a hotel, I shared a room with Mike Licona. My former father-in-law thought it would also send a good message to the society that there’s no bad blood between us. We got along well, although we did have to get used to him being an early bird and my being a night owl, but we managed to adapt well and I slept fine through the night.

Now a benefit of ETS is certainly getting to hear great talks. I really liked one I heard on the resurrection and does the body keep score. Could we have disabilities still have the resurrection? Will we remember the evils that we went through in this life? That might be a theoretical question for some of you, but for someone like myself on the spectrum, it isn’t. If anything, I would hope I can keep some of my Aspie traits even in a new and glorified body. I also went to a panel discussion Mike was part of on the minimal facts and talks on Aquinas and on Muslim relations and one on if Christ knew He was impeccable.

The bookstore is also a great place to go there as many books are there and on sale. I also had a good friend of Deeper Waters who showed up and told me to go to the bookstore and buy what I wanted. Even then, I tried to not get a whole lot. I didn’t want to take advantage. He also provided to have them FedExed back to my house and they were waiting when I got here.

That brings me to the best thing about ETS. The people. I found it easy to interact in the crowds of others and to chat. Many of my Aspie traits were just not as relevant then as they normally are. There were plenty of people on a humorous note who came up to me and told me that they affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and several have started saying that. On a more personal note, many people also came up to me and told me they were praying for me and sorry about all that I went through with the divorce and am going through. Two of them prayed right there with me.

Every day was a blessing to be there and when Thursday night came that matters were wrapping up, I started to have the sadness come to me. It’s like the letdown you have when you’re a kid and you wait for Christmas so eagerly and after it’s gone, you miss that time. I really do. Saturday when I was back here in Tennessee and back at work, I was already hating it again. It’s again why I would love to be doing the kinds of things I was doing at that conference full-time. (Although, Shiro has had a talk with me about how he never wants to see me leave for that long ever again)

Now as for the people, I know I will leave some out, but I remember being at the bookstore and seeing Mike Winger and getting to talk to him about how much I appreciated his video series on divorce. Bob Stewart and I had several interactions and I always told him how handsome he is. I don’t remember how that joke got started, but I remember Mike sharing it with me and I don’t forget a joke.

Ed Komoszewski and Rob Bowman and I had several interactions. Ed and I have talked multiple times together about the divorce. It was also good to meet Sam Shamoun and I ran into David Wood and Tim Stratton. Speaking of Tim, Tim McGrew and I met one time and he greeted me with a big hug, one of few people I would allow to do that without reservation. I also had some time with Paul Copan. On the plane to Dallas/Fort Worth, I sat next to Christian Cuthbert who I had never heard of before but saw he had a theological book and asked if he was going to ETS. He’s a scholar on Jonathan Edwards so I pried him with several questions before our plane took off. Matt Jenson gave the talk on the resurrection body and he and I and a couple of others went to lunch together after to talk about it and to affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. I also saw Craig Blomberg, Ken Wolgemuth, Hugh Ross, Greg Koukl, Brett Kunkle, and got to meet others like Robert Plummer, Bill Mounce, and Jonathan Pennington. I am sure I left some people out. Please don’t take offense at that if you were one.

Next year it will be in Denver with the theme of holiness. I am planning on submitting a paper on divorce and the spectrum. Why don’t you consider coming to? It would be great to meet you as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Things Not To Say To A Divorced Person #5: I Know How You Feel

Do you really understand? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is one of those statements that applies in so many situations, but it also applies to divorce. There is one exception to this like the others. That is with someone who has gone through a painful divorce. No two divorces will be exactly alike, but at least there is some relationship there.

So if you have gone through a break-up, you do not know what it is like. If you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have been lovers and lived together and broken up, you don’t know what it is like. If you have lost a spouse due to an unintentional and unmalicious death, you don’t know what it is like. All of these may bear some similarities, but they are still different.

What the intent is:

The intent is to show sympathy with the person. That is a noble attempt. The problem is that you can’t do that. If you have not walked in those shoes, you do not know how it feels. I hear across the board from people that divorce is worse than the death of a spouse. With death there is closure and you live on good terms. The love is never questioned. With divorce, the opposite is true.

I think of a friend who a few years ago told me of how his first wife died. Someone meant to have sympathy for him and said, “I know how you feel. My cat died recently.” The death of a pet is hard, but it is not the same as the death of a spouse.

Why it’s wrong:

As said, you don’t know how it feels. Divorce carries with it a personal rejection and a breaking of the covenant. This is something that makes it different from other break-ups. A marriage covenant is a solemn promise to not betray one another and to stay with that person until death. This is not to say that no one can ever justifiably divorce, but I argue in those cases, someone else has already broken the promise.

Throughout the day now, I am constantly reminded of how I am divorced by so many things. A small event could remind me of a joke we shared together. Seeing a happy couple together can remind me of the longing. Going to bed at night and waking up in the morning reminds me that there is no one else there.

Being in society doesn’t always help much. My job is one of the most public places I go to and it can be one of the loneliest places of all. It’s a very real reality to be in a crowd of people and feel utterly lonely. I can say through the two other major trials in my life, I didn’t have the fellowship that I have now, largely through social media. The internet has been a great boon to me in developing relationships.

Do not try to relate if you cannot relate. Accept it. That doesn’t mean that you can do nothing to help.

What to say instead:

I thought originally of “Tell me how you feel”, but then that sounded too forceful. Instead, a simpler answer could be “Would you like to talk about it?” If it could help the person, take them out for a glass of tea or a slice of pizza and just meet and discuss it.

I realize this isn’t the traditional guy approach, but sometimes, I want my male friends even to stop telling me what to do in a situation. Instead, listen. Listen to my concerns and listen to my issues. Perhaps there will come a time later, but speak too quickly and it can seem like my concerns are being dismissed. I certainly realize that is not the desire, but it is what happens.

Sometimes, the best thing to say also could just be absolutely nothing. When my friends want to get together with a game night, that is just fine for me. I think one benefit of something like Final Fantasy XIV is for awhile when I am interacting with people on there, I am not the guy going through a divorce. I am the tank or the healer or one of the damage dealers. This is also one reason gaming can be so beneficial for me now. I get to play a different role for a time than the one I am in now.

Now for those who have been through divorce before, many of our conversations now are invaluable. Right now, I am dialoguing with someone in email who has another similarity to me in that his ex-wife had BPD as well. For those who have been divorced, the more similarities there are in the cases, the better. He too, was accused of abuse. That, by the way, is something that makes it even worse. Everyone who knows me knows I would be absolutely aghast at the thought of hurting her. Unfortunately, after years of giving, this is what I have been given in return. It’s betrayal on top of betrayal.

My plan now for this blog is to go through Scripture and see what it says about divorce. I don’t plan on this answering every question. People like Mike Winger and Craig Keener have done much more on this than I have. Still, I want to attempt to answer some questions people have for me, including about the Bible and remarriage after divorce.

Thank you again, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Things To Not Say To A Divorced Person #4: God Will Send You Someone When You’re Ready

Can a promise of hope be more of a judgment? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am pretty sure I have been told this one a few times. It is one that when I think about it deeply stings. I remember talking to another friend who has been divorced and is now remarried and he told me the exact same thing. This is when people say “God will send you someone when you’re ready.”

The whole idea is to not be out there trying to find a spouse. Now I was told to wait at least a year, which I have done. However, the whole idea here is to not try. Whether one is ready or not is not the issue. Let’s look further then at this statement.

The intention:

The intention I think is to give hope. It is to talk to someone who wants someone to love and all the joys that come with that and to tell them that there is someone out there for them. It’s to invoke the blessing of God on the person. They are not abandoned. God will send them someone when the time is right, which is when they are ready. What could be wrong about that? Isn’t that good news for someone who wants a spouse?

Why it’s wrong:

Let’s start with an easy one. This is claiming to speak where God has not and promising what He has not promised. Now I realize that most people who want to remarry do and that means that the odds are in my favor, but that doesn’t necessitate it. For example, I could die in a car accident and then God certainly wasn’t going to send me someone when I was ready. I hope that doesn’t happen, but it’s a possibility.

We should always be cautious of people trying to speak the words of God when God has not spoken or trying to give divine authority to their actions, words, feelings, etc. This is one reason I have a problem with the idea of “feeling led.” It can be a way of thinking that our emotions come from God and have divine authority.

However, let’s look at the other issue. What you are talking about is a person who is going through something extremely hurtful and yet if they are thinking about remarriage, they have desires. Speaking as a man, love and sex rank right up there as strong desires. I am also a great admirer of beauty and I miss having the beauty of a woman in my life. I miss being desired. There is something about the male ego that we love the attention of women, starting with our mothers growing up and then moving on to a female partner one day.

A woman meanwhile could long to be provided for and cherished. She can have the exact same desires as a man. I remember well talking about the desire for sex that men have in DivorceCare and one woman saying “It’s not just men.” Yes. Women have desires as well. Therefore, let’s just look and say that whatever the reason, a person wants to get married again.

What this is telling them is that God will get them remarried, but they have to do something to get ready and then God will bless them. Until then, their efforts will end in flames and they’d better not even try. What is this? They don’t know and the person talking to them doesn’t. Therefore, God is giving them some secret goal to meet and they have to find that goal and then meet it to get someone.

Imagine having that requirement for something.

When it’s put that way, it’s like God is dangling a carrot on a stick before them and not letting them get it until they do something that they don’t even know that they need to do. God is in a sense withholding from them a good blessing. Now God can do that and if He wants to withhold a spouse until they do something, that is His prerogative, but it’s quite another for one of us who doesn’t know to claim that this is what He is doing and outright stating it to someone.

I earlier stated this rule to imagine saying something similar to these statements to a Christian couple trying to naturally conceive a child. Imagine if you said, “God will send you a child when you’re ready.” If the idea is to not even try until then, well then the couple abstains from sex. I can guarantee you that they won’t have a child that way and odds are, they could start to break apart too as Paul did condemn withholding from one another except for a short time and by mutual consent.

In this case, it could be God wants to see them reach a certain point before He will open the womb and allow a woman to give birth, but we do not know that and cannot say that. I won’t rule out a bona fide word of knowledge coming to someone, but it needs to be backed by solid evidence. There is no wrong with the couple still trying to conceive a child naturally. I do realize a couple could adopt, but I am explicitly talking about natural conception through intercourse for a reason.

What to say instead:

Listen to the desires of the person first. Understand what they want and understand why they want it. Ask genuine questions if you want to understand and do not ask them in an accusatory fashion. Encourage the person to also seek therapy if need be, and I think most everyone who has gone through a divorce needs therapy to some extent, and yes, that includes me and I do have a therapist.

If the person wants to marry, help them out on how to improve on that path to be a better spouse. I have spent time talking with people to learn more about interaction with the opposite sex and reading books. When I talk to people now, I am making a lot more eye contact and I am smiling a lot more than I did in the past. These are small steps, but they are major ones for me, but I sure wouldn’t mind some other men coming alongside of me and helping me to understand how to interact with women even better.

Heck. If you think they are ready and you know someone who is fitting for them, you could even see if you could set up a date for that person. For some of us, it could be a struggle to ask someone out again because we are thinking about what the rejection was like from our last spouse. I can say on my end, it’s extremely frustrating to not have much income and be 41 and be on the spectrum and be having to look again. It’s never where I wanted to be.

For both sexes also, offer to help them maintain sexual fidelity too regardless. That means definitely no pornography. I can say on my end that I have avoided it even after being away from her, but I can also say there have been times I have been strongly tempted and I have had to just wait for it to pass. I can say there are times that I want to scream internally because maintaining the proper lifestyle can be hard. It’s probably one reason I’m doing so many other things.

While historically men have been the biggest users of porn, women are using it more and more nowadays. Both sexes need the help of that. I know that when I remarry, I don’t want any future wife of mine to have to compete with several images that I have seen in my head before. Part of abstaining from pornography and any other sexual behavior is maintaining faithfulness also to a woman I haven’t even married.

Overall though, when you see someone going through this, again, be Jesus to them. Expressing caution about a desire I think can be fine, but I don’t think any good comes from throwing cold water on it entirely. That desire can be something that is keeping them going. Find a way to help them please Christ with it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Divorce And What Lies Ahead

Where is the blog going? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As we near the weekend, I am doing my last blog of the week. So what lies ahead? One first series I want to write on is what to not say to someone going through divorce. Some of these I have heard in some variant. Some I have heard from others. I do not doubt that many of these are from good people who are well-intentioned, but they do a lot more harm than good.

After that, my plan is to look at what Scripture says about divorce. Many people have seen me posting about a desire to remarry and have asked if I have biblical approval to do so. Please understand that I am also doing this from a classical Protestant perspective. How the Catholics and Orthodox handle this will be different, although I have friends in both camps who do agree I can remarry within Scriptural grounds.

I have gone through the three views book on divorce and remarriage and I have gone through Mike Winger’s series on this on YouTube. I do plan on reading Keener’s book on one who marries another. I hope I will deal with most questions on this topic by the time the end comes.

From there on, I plan to go on the route that I have been taking in healing. Now I have heard that we who are on the spectrum respond to trauma better than others because our brains have a higher degree of plasticity. We do learn to adapt, but that doesn’t mean it’s always healing. Just a couple of weeks ago my DivorceCare leader who has been remarried for several years and had his marriage ended years and years ago based on a comment said he found some memories he needs to heal of. Thus, if anyone ever says you need complete healing before you move on, I don’t think so. There are some events one never completely heals from.

I hope that while doing this, it will help you out as I am writing this when I am going through the process. I am not just reflecting on this years later and what it was like. We can consider it a kind of real-time.

I also do plan on doing what I normally do in writing my candid thoughts out. Many of you have said that you appreciate that because it is real. One advantage of dealing with me on the spectrum is I can be an open book. That can be a disadvantage at times, but my hope is one of you will read this and be able to say, “Yes. Someone at least understands.” When that is encountered, it can tell a person that they are not alone in what they are going through.

I do want to thank so many of you who have reached out to me in this time as well. I also like knowing that I am not alone through every aspect of the divorce process. We have been fellow travelers on this journey and it means a lot to me.

Thank you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

Divorce and Friends

Do I get by with a little help from my friends? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If there has been one great blessing in all of this, it has been friends. Sometimes, when I post a message of sadness, my friends are right there. So many of you I wish lived nearby. It’s very hard for now to find people in this area I can hang out with and yet another reason I want to earn enough to move out.

Friends have been there and I’ve had to rely on them in ways that I never have before. I remember well a friend around here taking me out for Mexican one night and talking about things in life, especially my desire to remarry someday and how he had to tell me, “Nick. You are a guy. Stop beating yourself up for being a guy.”

Many a friend I have called when I have been in a bout of depression and not known what to do. When I first found out she had the money to file, I was crying my eyes out and had to call a friend from DivorceCare. My friends have accepted that I have been weak.

Sometimes I fear that people not in ministry look at those of us who teach and/or lead in some capacity as people who have all the answers and our lives are just great. This is not always so. Many a time, we struggle. I do not have all the answers. My life is not always together. There have been times I have had to take multiple medications to get to sleep due to anxiety attacks in all of this and since I should be getting health insurance through work soon, I plan to go see a psychiatrist.

I also do not have shame in saying that. I know when I need help. I know my emotions can get out of control at times and my anxiety can be overwhelming. If I have to be on something, even if it’s for a season as I work through this, that is fine. Too many Christians in the church look down on this way too much.

Speaking of which, not all my friends in this have been Christians on here. Some have been non-Christians who are still showing love and support. I know a number of intellectual opponents could be tempted to use something like this to make a cheap shot against me. I am thankful that these skeptics of Christianity have not and I hope they are seeing Jesus in me in how I endeavor to treat my ex-wife in all of this.

I have a small group of friends who have experienced divorce and I call them regularly. Many times I can be at work and need to talk to someone on the way home. You see, my job doesn’t do much to challenge me intellectually and so I spend a lot of time brooding over matters. I wind up being more depressed and I am not pleased with where I am in life.

Fortunately, I also do have others to call and I plan on trying to do that more often when I’m not listening to audio books. I also have a friend who I knew in Elementary School who wants to get together with me again. I would like to do some meetings with a group of 30+ Christian singles here I just joined on MeetUp, but unfortunately, it looks like the days that they meet are the days that I work.

At the same time, sometimes matters seem different. I have friends who I think don’t really know what to do with me. Some of my friends still want to get married and thus can’t entirely grasp what it means to be married and lose it to divorce. There are some aspects of life I know I can’t talk about entirely, such as dealing with issues involving sexuality.

I wonder about new people also. I can tell co-workers that I have been divorced and they don’t believe it when they hear I was accused of being abusive as I am nothing like that, but I am still hesitant. After all, there was someone I trusted once and that ended in tragedy. I don’t doubt that I have serious issues now involving rejection.

I am thankful also for friends that I can do online gaming with, such as Final Fantasy XIV, and if you do play just look up Phoenix Skywing. I have a friend who donates to my ministry and says that part of his donation has to go to keeping my account running. For him, World of Warcraft was the big deal when he went through his divorce. Gaming has been a great way to keep my mind off of things. I have now decided that in addition to prayer before bed, I’m also going to get out my Switch and game or 10-15 minutes. If I have panic attacks at night, I could consider doing the same as well.

Part of this also is all of this is bringing to mind about how hard it is to relate to people. I don’t understand social cues and in some banter meant to be humorous, I have no idea what to say and I get caught flat-footed. These are areas I am trying to work hard on as I don’t want to get married again only to have it end in flames. I never want to go through this experience again.

Thus, there is still one positive in all of this. You learn a lot about your friends and who’s there for you. Being a gamer all my life, I have learned the value of friends seeing as in most RPGs, your main character having friends is essential to defeating the enemy. Yes. I still want to find someone special again one day, but I am thankful that until then and even beyond then, I do have friends.

When I signed up for DivorceCare and was going through the book, we were asked what can you not live without. I gave the Jesus answer, but I also added in one other answer. Friends. Not even Jesus was without Him when He walked this Earth. Who am I to think I want to be without them.

Thank you friends and fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and Social Media

Is it different being on the internet after divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In January, I left Georgia and moved back in with my parents. It wasn’t until September that I let the news out in a situation where I thought it had to be done. That meant for that for eight months, the majority of people had no idea. There were a few who knew and one private group that I shared in, but most people knew nothing about it.

That can be a sting in itself. Sometimes, people would tag her and I in something and I would get that reminder. It wasn’t that I really forgot, but it just made it more real. I remember seeing at one point that she had changed her name back to Allie Licona. I had hoped some people might ask me what was going on, but no one did, at least no one that I recall. I understand that a lot of people want to mind their own business, but sometimes, it would be nice if they didn’t.

I used to watch her page regularly and turn on notifications of her posts to make sure no one was mistreating her. After she announced the divorce, I stopped immediately. She has thought that I had people spying on her and checking in on her. Not a bit. Sometimes, some friends would come to me who knew what was going on and tell me things that were happening, but for the most part, nothing was told.

I have been told she made posts saying that I was abusive. I do not have firsthand evidence of this, but I trust what was told me. I had a number of friends when they found out say, “Do you care if I unfriend and/or block her?” I always told them it was their decision. They didn’t owe me anything.

There was also one friend who told me that he unfriended her after he saw what she posted in August for her birthday. She had a fundraiser set for victims of domestic violence. He knew that was a charge against me and he wanted nothing to do with it. If anyone wants to know about the charges, feel free to ask, but I can assure anyone as can several others that I never abused Allie. I certainly wasn’t perfect and certainly made mistakes, but nothing that equalled abuse.

Facebook memories can be painful to look at. Yesterday at work I heard Kryptonite being played by Three Doors Down. I used to like that song. For me, it was just painful this time. “Will you still call me Superman?” That was her name for me. I can show you posts on Facebook where she refers to me as her Superman.

I look back at old posts where we interact and wonder what was the truth and what was a lie. It’s painful to see someone say how blessed they are with you and how much they love you and what a great man you are for them and then have them divorce you. You could say to not check your Facebook memories, but I want to see what’s going on in the past in other areas and I don’t want fear to hold me back.

I understand she has a YouTube channel from others. I have never watched a video. In this case, I don’t think I could. Seeing someone is very different. The visualization brings back the memories.

I remember seeing a picture of her recently in my memories after she won the Miss Shining Star Beauty Pageant here in Knoxville. It was put on by Joni and Friends and every girl in it had to be disabled. It was the first one ever and we went all out to get her a good dress and my sister came in from Nashville to do her make-up.

When she won, I cried more than she did. It was one of the happiest moments I’d had. I remember seeing it and thinking, “In your face” to all the bullies of the past. I remember coming home and going next door to see my parents first and opening the door and introducing them to Miss Shining Star.

It’s sad when that which brought you joy now brings you sorrow.

You look at this and wonder why it was all thrown away. That’s exactly what it was. Ten years of marriage with nearly a year of dating prior and then it was just tossed out. You can say abuse, but again, whenever the police came to our apartment, it wasn’t because of abuse. It was to stop her in another suicidal phase.

There’s also the other side that you can see other couples happy together and you wonder why it can’t be you. This is still something I long for and so far in the world of trying to get out there and date again, I haven’t had much luck. I am working on getting out there and meeting more people. I am trying to interact even with people I don’t know and just ask questions. It’s never the generic “How are you?” It’s always about something.

It’s also been awkward asking for donations from people. I hate having to do it and yet I have to do it. When I get a new one, it reminds me that someone actually cares. Believe it or not, sometimes, you wonder if anyone really does or not. I have been thankful for friends who have called me or contacted me and asked how I am doing. Sometimes I can’t talk, but when I can, I usually try. I am also working on getting together with a friend from Knoxville I met back in third grade. He’s the friend I have that I have maintained a working friendship with the longest.

On the more positive side, there has been a whole lot more interaction with people on social media for me and a lot of people visiting my blog. I have been told that people appreciate how candid and real I am. With these blogs, I honestly don’t have scripts. I just prefer to sit down and write out and let the thoughts flow.

Usually on social media, we post our best, but I have been posting some of my worst states of mind. I have been posting from places of agony. The downside of this is different people give different advice and sometimes contradictory pieces of advice at that. I do have a therapist I work with who knows all about the situation and was our marriage therapist for some time. He has been guiding me through every step.

Overall though, for now, interactions are very different on social media and there is still a loneliness there. That’s another reason I hope to earn enough soon to move out. I want to go out and get a place to live in the city where I will be near people and near events that I can go to. Even where I am, it takes me half an hour to drive to work and of course, to drive back.

Thanks though to all my friends on social media who I have not yet met, but who have stood by my side. Thanks for any support you give prayerfully, relationally, and financially. I also thank all the men I have spoken to who are or who have been fellow travelers on this journey.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)