Bill of Rights

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The White Heron and the Geese



Sitting in the river is this majestic creature, pure white, stately, alone. The irony of this situation hits me with full force every time. The White Heron. I see them often where I live. I have watched them for years. Never have I seen them in groups like the geese.


Geese are all over the place where I live -- just like this -- with their flock. The contrast is striking!


I don't know much about the Heron (or Egret as they are also known). They are said to be monogamous birds, with the male being the nest builder. He begins to build the home and then seeks out the mate.

What I haven't been able to determine, is why I never see these birds in pairs. The contrast of the geese -- always in a group -- a family -- leaves a mark on my soul each time.

Birds fascinate me. Their life seems care free at times and yet, like all of God's creatures they have a purpose and a mission in His world.

Their mission seems so much easier to follow and accomplish than mine.

My life is more like...


A rickety, broken down, weed-infested, roller coaster!

Somedays, even with the ups and downs, my travels along the road of life are smooth. Other times, the ruts, detours and road blocks -- along an almost impassable course -- leave me to wonder how I will navigate the path ahead.

The past few months have been like that with me -- or at least like that with H. No matter how hard I try, I continue to find myself in the same space, feeling the same let down feelings, alone -- like that Heron in the water. 

Tonight the struggle to hold tight to boundaries is not helping me. Every couple of minutes the thoughts return to my mind to call or text. Battling those thoughts is not easy. The truth is, I'm not even sure if it will make me feel better or worse. 

Will the text bring on the gaslighting dialogue? 
Will I be blamed for letting things go so long, when over and over I have asked him to reach out and include me in his life?
Will he make it about him and not take ownership?




It's too cold to go sit along my favorite river's edge, with the Heron and geese, to ponder this dilemma. Instead, I go there in my mind, battling against myself. Praying for strength.

The only problem is -- I don't know what side of the issue to apply the strength for which I have prayed.





Sunday, September 23, 2018

Am I Invisibe?

I remember years back, when the trials of my life were intense, standing up in a women's meeting to share my testimony. I was particularly vulnerable and raw in the words I chose to share that day. Typically, I reserve the real me for a rare few, but this day, all the pain I keep hidden from the world needed release.

I remember (sometimes embarrassingly so when I think too long about this experience) telling those women sitting in that room, that I longed for a trail that was visible to the world. I thought a broken leg or maybe cancer would be better than what I was dealing with alone that day.


To not be seen is one of life's greatest pains. 





I wanted to be seen -- and heard -- that Sunday morning.








He knows your heart
He knows your pain
He knows the strength it took just too simply breathe today
He sees the tears that you cry
He knows your soul is aching to know why
He hears your prayers each humble word
When you said you couldn't face another day he understood
He knows the path that you will find
Though you felt alone he's never left your side

Chorus:
He knew there'd be moments when no earthly words
Could take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you

He'll bring you peace and leave you hope
And in the darkest night he'll comfort you
Until you know the sun will rise and each new day
You will have the strength to live again

Chorus:
And in those moments when no earthly words
can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you

He hears you when you're crying in the night
He hears you when your soul longs to find
Till the morning will come
And the light of the dawn reassures

Chorus:
That in the moments when no earthly words
can take away your sorrow
And no human eyes could see what you're going through
When you've taken your last step and done all that you can do
He will lift your heavy load and carry you
 ~ Hillary Weeks



No one said a word to me at the meeting's end. 
It was ok.
I didn't need those women to see me.
In that moment, I knew God saw me.
I knew He always did -- he always would. 

There are so many time through out this life, I have wanted people to see me, to feel with me, to make space in a few moments of their day for me. 

It is such a beautiful gift we give one another to truly see them.

What I didn't see that Sunday morning, in the sharing of my pain, is that I would need that experience to recognize that need in other women. To learn that others, like me, have pain the world cannot see. 
One day, God would put those women in my life to sit with.

I would see them.
I would make space for them.
I would sit with their pain.
I would honor them for their strength.
I would love them -- even more -- for allowing me the gift of seeing them.




"Life carves a holding place in our hearts" (Wilcox, 2009) from which God will use us as His hands, to bless others; to help Him reach across the chasms of His world and ours to feel him -- and trust him. 

That day, He filled the empty space in me with an awareness I could later use to help others. 

We are not invisible.
God sees us.
He shows himself to us through the love of charity of his other children.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Surrendering



Each week at SA Lifeline meetings, the long version of the Serenity Prayer is read.  I did not know these other verses of this prayer until I attended my first SAL meeting.

Right now I am focusing on this one main point:

"Living one day at a time - enjoying one moment at a  time"

This is the idea behind my surrender.


The truth is, after 30 years of this life, I know that hoping for, or wanting something that requiring the cooperation of another human being (think addict here) to make it happen, is not what this is all about. This is about letting go of needing anyone but me and God. This isn't about finally knowing the path forward, rather it is realizing that I am not helping myself by trying to make this happen my way. I need to surrender my life,  trusting that God knows what is best for me.

I have been trying to force myself and H down a life path for 30 years, without success. It isn't working. I'm not achieving what I need and want from doing things my way. I'm sure H isn't either. I do not believe my expectations have been excessive. My ideas of honesty, fidelity, and love are what most people look for -- and even expect in a marriage.

Most -- but not everyone.

I am surrendering...
   Love
   Marriage
   Companionship
   Trust
   Fidelity
   Friendship
   Someone to talk to
   Someone to know -- and who knows me
   Someone to laugh with
   Someone to cry with
   Someone who deals with the struggles of day to day with me
   Someone who even takes some of those troubles from me
   Someone to mow the lawn and take out the trash
   Someone to help warm the bed up on cold winter nights
   Someone to go exploring with
   Someone who gets my music and dances in the kitchen with me
   Someone to sit next to on the pew at church
   Someone to fight with
   Someone to dream with
   Someone to grow old with

Surrendering is painful.
Surrendering evokes a longing for that which one cannot have but longs for anyway.



Surrender is choosing another direction -- 
when the current path is not taking you where you need to go. 






Surrender is letting go
so both can live


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Back to Bloggin' and Movin' On!





It has been way too long since I stopped by here long enought to add to the story of my life. Many things have happend. Some good and some not so good. 

Life is like that -- both happy and sad. 

After trying to do this on my own, I have finally come to realize there is value for me in visiting these pages, in telling these stories, both the good ones and the sad ones. Writing them down validates the struggles and successes. It paints the picture of how hard I tried and where I need to try harder. 

It was almost a year ago I came here to talk about being stuck. 

Stuck - unable to move. Unable to change. Unable to progress. Unable to....

Stuck for nearly a year.

Stuck trying.  Is that even a thing?

I tried. 
I tried counseling.
I tried moving.
I tried hiding in my room with the door locked tight.
I tried letting H in my room.
I tried.

There is a truth about trying that has to be told -- it takes two to make a try work. 







A month ago today -- I asked H to leave. 

Did you know leaving is not a complete event? 







leaving
noun
1.
something that is leftresidue.

Something that is left leaves a residue. 
It isn't complete. 
Something remains to be felt or seen or to be dealt with.
Residue sticks where you don't want it to. 
It sticks even when you ask them to leave.



residue
noun

1.
something that remains after a part is removed, disposed of, or used;remainder; rest; remnant.





There is the residue of the porn he used in my home.
The residue of the lies.
The residue of pain.
The residue of a broken marriage.
It all sticks and it is difficult to remove. 




For the past year my life has looked something like this detour. 
Wandering into dead ends.
Starting and stoping and changing directions until everything inside me is in knots 
  and I feel lost.

It is time to stop this nonsense.
Stop ignoring the warning signs. 

It is time for a change of direction







So today I am changing direction.
I am finding a straigh path to recovery.
My recovery.

I am going to keep walking.
Out of the crazy-making.
Away from the lies.
Away from the betrayal.
Away from the pain.
Toward me.
Toward Christ -- for he is the only one who can heal this hurt and locate the lost me inside it all. 




Off I go..
Wish me luck!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Stuck

Stuck!

It's a word my therapist and I discuss all the time.
It's full of lies.
Mine.
H's.

and sometimes I think God's....but only because I don't understand and know what he knows.



For the past 7 weeks I have been buried in a class that has buried me emotionally. At the same time, I am in conflict with this class and my real life. 

Thanks Marriage 300.  

I'm reading this book:


Product Details 


It is amazing!  unless your husband is an addict.


And this book:

Product Details 

 This is amazing times.10  unless your husband doesn't want to be married to you.



 
 How long has it been since I started writing here about divorce and separation?
 It's kind of a theme, huh?

Please, know, it is far from desire. 
I hate the idea.
I hate what a divorce will mean for me at this point in my life.
I hate what it will do for generations of my family yet to be.
I hate that it conflicts with every doctrine and principle of marriage that I hold true.


It is as I said to H recently, I cannot heal a marriage by myself.  A marriage is by nature a party of two. Repairing, restoring, healing, fixing, all the broken pieces of addiction and deception cannot be accomplished solely by me.




 


 To read about my puzzle follow this link. It is a blog post I wrote for my marriage class. then if you'd like, come back and tell me what you think.


My blog post
 

I'm still trying to make sense of where I am -- and my therapist is out of town for another week.

Hence....

STUCK! 
 

 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Prone to Wander -- Through Recovery


   





I have been thinking a lot about the recovery path I have walked the past 4 years. I like to think of it now in terms of a favorite hymn of mine, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing". 

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise. 
~~~


I remember well the day I fell to my knees in utter despair, my heart was a shattered mess. I had yet again, unearthed H's despicable acts. The only place I could go -- was to the Savior. In Him, I knew I would find the grace I needed to extend mercy to the one I believed (then) would never deserve it after everything he has done (and kept doing) to me. 

I would have to find the way to tune myself toward recovery -- toward my Father in Heaven and the redeeming grace of the Savior.









Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love. 
~~~







Those days were constant prayers. Prayers for comfort. Prayers for peace. Prayers to just get through the next moment. Prayers to take my heart and fix it upon the only place I felt hope would come. And yes...a prayer for a melodious sonnet. Music has an amazing balm to it. In the days that would follow, there would be many songs that helped heal me.








Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I'm come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home. 
~~~

An Ebenezer is a "stone of help". The reference is from 1 Samuel 7:12
     "Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Eben-ezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."

For me, that stone of help was my recovery groups, the Healing Through Christ program, SA Lifeline
and even this brave, brave move....Filming my story with Addo Recovery.


These were the beginning days. Days of great pain  (oh how my body always wears the weight of this betrayal and makes it even harder to bear the rejection of H's acts) and confusion. Recovery was the only way through all of that hurt, anger, and hopelessness. It was the only way for me to find myself. It was the only way to find hope and healing.










Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood. 
~ ~ ~
O to grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee. 
~~~



 <b>Jesus</b> <b>at the door</b>

The more I worked my recovery, the more I saw my Savior in every part of my pain. The more I opened my heart to him -- the stronger I became. The more I worked to "Let go and let God" as we say in the surrender process --- the greater the ability I found to walk this path.

A path I walk alone.

Even as I write this post,  H is faltering in his addiction and the anger of disclosing to me -- yet again -- shame filled behaviors. There is no one but the Savior to hold my pain (and H's) as we both walk our own paths.

No one wants this kind of adversity in their life. No one says, "Hey Lord, pick me! I'm strong. I can handle a husband with a sexual addiction."  Most of us that have walked this path would tell anyone to run.  Run as fast and as far as you can away from any one with this addiction.

In bold statement by Sister Julie B. Beck in 2011, she said the following, "Please remember that there are no righteous daughters of God who will willingly tolerate a pornography habit in the young men they date and marry. In fact, if a young woman has any hint that a young man she is interested in is involved in pornography in any of its forms, I would tell her to consider it as a flashing red light, which means 'stop this relationship'."  (Disclaimer: I'll post a link to this full address in the comments. She mentioned the same thing to the young men. My point is not to say that all addicts are not worthy of a healthy relationship, only that it will be a very difficult road to travel.)









Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here's my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.  
~~~

Recovery was full of dark days in the beginning. Days when I have asked God why he is silent, or why does he leave me here to suffer in this agony. An addict husband is not a empathic companion. He cannot sit with my pain when his is so consuming. There have been many church leaders who have not understood my pain and needs either (Some have even made it worse with the thoughtless comments.).




 Here I am now --
a work in progress. What I have learned in this journey is how to be brave. I've learned how resilient I am. I'm careful -- and wise. I'm authentic, real, and more courageous that I ever thought I could be. I'm intentional, faithful and patient. Qualities that have taken a lot of work (and still require fine tuning from time to time) to develop. I am powerful; not in my ability to control others, but in my ability to surrender and to allow the Master to mold me into who He wants me to be. I am worthy and enough!  Something I didn't believe when this journey with a sex addict first began. In fact, I believed quite the opposite for so long. 

I am INDESTRUCTIBLE!!!!


No matter what happens. No matter what H decides as he processes what is required of him from God, from the Church and even from me (should marriage be something he even wants with me)....I will not break.

I used to think I was broken.  A hot mess, as my friend used to refer to me. Life is messy. Life is hard and dirty and painful and all of those things that make us think we are not equipped to be anything but messy and broken.

Lies! All lies.  








  I Believe -




(a verse missing from this hymn)


O that Day when freed from sinning,
I shall see thy lovely Face;
Clothed then in blood-washed Linnen 
 How I’ll sing thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransom’d Soul away;
Send thine Angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless Day. 














Thursday, April 7, 2016

Love, Attachment, and Connection

I used to think I knew what all these terms meant. I've felt that crazy kind of love in the beginning of a romance; that feeling you get when you can't stop thinking about him.  I've felt that kind of heart wrenching love looking into the face of my child for the first time. In my small human way and because of the great love I have for my children, I have a sense of how much Father loves each of us. He created this beautiful world, he sent His son to suffer, die, and atone for us. He provided a way for all of us to return to His presence.

After addiction, love takes on a whole new meaning.

I used to think people made love with someone they loved -- that was supposed to be special.
I used to think that if you told someone you loved them -- you wouldn't ever hurt them.
I used to think that if you loved someone -- you respected their own individual worth and value.
I used to think love was the impetus for that deep connection that happens between two married people.

I used to think a lot of things before I realized I was married to a sex addict.

Including....that the problems in my marriage were because I was too _______________ or not enough___________________.

Lies!
All lies!

Except for the part about babies, moms, Heavenly Father and the Savior.

H and I have known each other some 30 years. Except for my siblings and extended family members, I have no other relationship with that kind of time invested.  While there may have been bumps and bruises along the way of growing up with siblings, no one has hurt me to the great extent H has.

Now I am wondering, is this love or just a long-term attachment?

Does love get mixed up with need?

I need someone to open jars I can't open.
I need someone to help me carry things that I can't manage on my own.

I can't think of other needs.
I'm a pretty independent soul.

I have long since separated need from wants or like to haves:
  * I like to have someone I can really talk to
  * I want a husband I can trust enough to talk to
Neither of these are love or attachment

 Dr. Sue Johnson says, "Bonding with a trusted other is a compelling drive wired into the mammalian brain by millions of years of evolution. This is all about survival."  Johnson goes on to say that when we lose that, we panic, and we are lonely or hurting.


How do you trust enough to give or accept love or connection when there is betrayal?

As important as the need for connection is for us as human beings, I'm beginning to see that safety has a primary place on the need ladder.



 According to Maslow, safety comes only after basic life needs of food and water are met.


As I was studying these concepts, trying to make sense of what comes first, I read somewhere (I'll try to find the source) that the deep emotional connection happens only when that person is truly open, and 100% responsible for their own feelings and needs. I took that to mean that safety happens inside first, before it happens with another person.

When I try to connect all of this to my present situation and the intense amount of PTSD I am experiencing, I feel like all I am doing is spinning my wheels. I'm not getting a bit of traction to push myself from my stuck place to the starting point of change.

I have embarked on a new introspective course to find me. I have started to study principles of self-deception and self-betrayal. As I do this self-reflection, I am not expecting to change my H. I'm not expecting to see his betrayal as anything less that it is. I am absolutely NOT taking responsibility for anything H has done. All I am trying to do is take this trauma and this emotional dis-ease with a lack of safety and see what I am doing to contribute to it.

Wish me luck.

Seriously, the PTSD around H has been horrible lately. I can't stand him to even touch me. I need to get to the bottom of this because it is just as bad around my kids too.  There are times when I just cannot have another human body in my personal space.

That is no way to live.

I can't keep all of my associations at arms length....even though right now...it feels the safest to me.