Bill of Rights

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year End Reflections

I'm ready for this year to end.  It has been one of the hardest on record.  The beginning of this year felt like one revolving door: separate - reunite - separate - reunite until I didn't know if I was coming or going in my own skin.  The pains of each discovery that sent H back to our other home so many times this year compounded each time he came back bringing his lies and deception with him.  This took its toll on both of us this year.  For H, at least, I am grateful he hit his pit of despair deep and hard enough to finally choose a healthier life for him. 

I've had things taken away and things added upon this year.  In fact, one issue in particular has felt to me one of the greatest losses, that of H's church membership.  Though his growth is slow, it is at least in a more forward path than ever before in our years together.  

My oldest joined the Marines early this year.  Something I said would never happen on my watch.  Luckily he waited until after he married.  That meant leaving behind a wife and two small children to wait on him and his training completion.   Another  complication and blessing to my year.

The first year has past in my new home filling it with a year full of memories.  Not all ones I want to hang on to.  I'm learning though, to see past the trials to the lessons within them.  Something I constantly remind myself of as I continue to process the hurt and pain and work my recovery.  

Anniversaries of D-days and triggers still plague me, surprising me with a continual physically and emotionally painful reminder of the life I have been living.  I told H today in one of our conversations that I still freeze and have a physical reaction every time he comes in the door.  I have a lot of faith that time will heal this.  I longingly await that season of peace.

I took an awesome trip home to visit family and attend Togetherness in October which was the highlight of my whole year.  The conference was amazing, but being able to meet so many of the warrior women I've come to know and love was an amazing experience.

One of my greatest victories, though not initially in my 2014 yearly plan was going back to school.  I aced the semester with a butt-kicking A.  I managed to keep my scores up above 98% the whole semester.  Truly this did more to boost a mangled self-esteem than anything else I accomplished this year.

This year is ending with me still in a state of indecision.  Letting H come home in April without firm boundaries, without enough therapy to sort through all the issues that his actions brought with him was my worst decision of the year.  I realize now, it was a typical reaction for me, responding to H's tears of despair and pleas for help.  The rescuing me reacted just as expected.  Once the decision was made and he was back home, the struggle to deal with unexpected emotions caused me incredible distress.  It was months before I realized I needed to fall back and regroup.  Separating bedrooms and going back to civil living while we both worked on our individual recovery has eased much of my anxiety.  It just has done nothing to bring me to a point of resolve regarding my marriage.  While I know H is coming to understand himself better, we still struggle so intensely in our daily interactions.  

There are time the words of scriptures come to me, reminding me of the dangers of living in chaos and commotion.  One of the pressing issues for me is to resolve the commotion of my soul with regard to my marriage.  To accomplish this, I've determined my word for the coming  year will be purpose.


* the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc
*an intended or desired result; end; aim; goal.
*determination; resoluteness
*the subject in hand; the point at issue 
*to intend; design.
*to resolve (to do something)
 *to act to good purpose

I'm not much for new year resolutions, but I do have issues to continue to work through, small projects I want to accomplish and a new year of school ahead for 2015.  No matter how the year unfolds, I do know it will not happen well without my continued recovery work and my heavy reliance on the Atonement of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  
I will continue to lean on the truths of the gospel to help guild me on the path the Lord wants me on.  Oh how the natural man in us is prone to wander, prone to be pushed off course as the tests of mortality over take us.  I've been there.  I've been lost, confused, in chaos and incredible commotion.  I want to guide myself away from that point and pray with all my heart that the intent and purpose that I have resolved myself to will be my guiding star and take me to this point next year more secure in myself and more at peace in my soul.
My prayer is that God blesses all of us with the training and tools we all need to be able to stay close to him and to his son, that peace will be abundant enough to comfort us when we are bruised by the pains of mortality, and that our search for truth will bring us the fullness of life we all search for.

Happy 2015
  • Happy New Year Glitter Graphic

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

What ever you are doing this evening.  What ever traditions hold your heart, catch your breath and take you back to that moment.  Stop, feel, be there -- at least just for a moment tonight.

Merry Christmas

If you are looking for something uplifting to watch tonight to help remind you of Him. Check out, or or   There are some amazing things there.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Finals, Birthdays and Recovery Musings

The late days of fall are typically busy ones.  Which totally goes against my natural rhythm.  To me these last fall days are more for hibernating and getting ready to hunker down for winter.  Life never seems to cooperate with my natural tendencies as it keeps getting busier and busier.

I'm wrapping up my first semester back in school in more years than I want to quantify out here in the open.  Though the class was fairly easy for me in subject matter, I'm proud of that A I earned.  I worked for it.  (And I hope that isn't too brag-y---cuz I'd hate that.)

I hit a peak birthday year this week (again, one I'm not too anxious to put in type here on the internet).  A couple years ago when I was looking ahead to this monumental birthday, I thought about some of the things I wanted to accomplish by that age.  (Of course, back then I was still in huge denial about what was going on in my marriage.)  On the top of my list was to walk the Camino de Santiago.  I'm still hoping one day the stars align to make that happen.

Instead of walking the Camino, I started back to college which has helped re-define some of those goals I had back in the days of numbness and hiding.  Working out my academic plans I'll be done with school right about the time my little D will be ready to head out on her college journey.  That Camino walk might be a great adventure for the two of us then.  It's something to hope on at least.

While I'm busy taking finals this week and dreaming about that Camino walk that never happened, I'm very stuck in my work on Step 8 (Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make amends to them).  Truly this step is not for the weak of heart.  Some of you new to 12-step work might wonder why I am doing this, rather than my addict spouse.  Isn't he the one who did all the harming, after all?

It's true, the majority of my life's pain and trials have been due to the actions of my husband.  But I'm not perfect, and many times did not live up to principles or standards I should have held myself to (regardless of what H was doing).  This isn't an easy step.  The me I'm trying to become battles with the old me, wrestling with this whole process.

I'm not going through all of this for H either (and that can go on record here in cyber land).  I'm doing this for me.  Regardless of where H and I end up.  This whole healing journey is my journey.  I need this.

For years I lived in a cocoon, protecting and buffering myself from the reality of my life.  I've needed this healing journey to come to know me.  It has even at times taken the words and experiences of others to bring about that "oh yeah" moment for me. I've had a lot of awakenings; 'Yeah, I've lived that too" moments as I've shared this healing journey with others who know this life.

Right now, as I'm baking goodies for our last night at school get together, I'm thinking a lot about this quote in the manual from then Elder James E. Faust:  "Only as we rid ourselves of hatred and bitterness can the Lord put comfort into our hearts."

I don't hate H, but there is resentments and frustrations that have not resolved themselves yet.  New frustrations that get added into all the old ones that I hid from all those years.

To top it all off...

  • opryland living <b>nativity</b> opryland christmas <b>nativity</b> opryland at ...

It's Christmas time. As I prepare to celebrate the birth of the Savior, it is time to lay some of this at his feet.  After all, he came in to this world to take these pains from me.  Not to prevent them, but to give me a place to put the suffering I experience here in mortality.

I have at least one more post in my queue before the year comes to a close.  If I don't get back here before Christmas, I'll leave with this one last thought that I used in my lesson this past Sunday in my local Relief Society.

Merriest of Christmas Wishes.

Image of Everyday Christmas-Holy Night

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Catching Up and Working it Through

The time passes by so fast this time of year.  My schedule is loaded with extra things to do taking away precious time to ponder and work through my healing and recovery work.  I have been working on it though -- just not the way I'd like to.   I have a couple big issues that I'm not getting to the bottom of yet that are pretty difficult right now.  Healing, for me is complicated by the constant unexpected trigger that I have to stop and work through.

This time last year was a really hard one for me.  I spent Thanksgiving alone, without H for the first time in 27 years.  It was surprisingly peaceful.  My kids said it was really nice, but a little weird.  Yeah, it was weird.   This year H was with us, but my son was not.  He's a Marine, currently in San Diego at school.  

I really tried to avoid Thanksgiving all together.  I didn't even shop for groceries until two days before.  I didn't spend hours planning a menu.  I did not even make pie. (That alone is huge for me.)  If it wasn't for my daughter-in-law and two adorable little grands, I could have just skipped the event all together.   

I didn't feel like celebrating anyway.  Don't get me wrong, I have everything to be thankful for -- it wasn't about gratitude.

It is mostly just this unshakeable sadness I have in my heart about my marriage that I'm struggling with.

And then there was this......

christmas wreath : A brown twig wreath is decorated with red berries, pine cones and a red damask bow. Stock Photo

A wreath.  A Christmas wreath? 

How does something so innocent and simple cause such a huge trigger?

I went out Friday, after Thanksgiving, not to catch all the sales, but to shop for a wreath.  I 
wanted one that made a statement.  I have a new home and I wanted some pizazz on my 
front door.  Understandable, right?  I was prepared to purchase one with a pretty hefty price 
tag to get the look I was after.  I figured Target or the like wouldn't bring me the 'look' I wanted, but we 
started there anyway as it at least gave H a point of reference for what I was hoping to find.  

The one we decided on is lovely.  Every time I went in and out my front door over the 
weekend, I was so happy with the look.  I love the colors, the thick crystals giving off the 
appearance of ice.  It is really lovely.  

Then it happened.

As I was getting into the tubs with the rest of my Christmas decor I pulled a wreath off the 
top of the bin.  It literally stopped me in my steps.

The pain was physical and instantaneous.  

I could not for the life of me remember buying that wreath. I couldn't attach a memory to it 
at all.  Not buying it, or to having it hang on my front door the whole month of last December.  
don't remember packing it away either.  

How can all that living and doing and gone? 

I use my front door as my main point of entry.  

It was though, every memory that should have been there, all of it, gone.  
No remembering of visiting teachers or family or even the UPS driver at the door.


In that moment, with all that hurt and pain and confusion (and I was extremely confused), 
I looked right at H and said, "I think my trauma just cost you a hundred bucks!" 

H is in a good place right now.  His response was very kind and generous.  He could have 
haggled with me over the two options.  Which one did I have to have?  Was this big purchase 
that necessary?  Could you do with the one you have?  He didn't say any of those things.  

We aren't poor, but we don't have a great deal of disposable income.  It was a sizable
purchase for something that sits on the door four weeks out of  fifty-two.

His reply was, 'well, that is a small price to pay for what you went through last year 
because of me."

A friend of mine, who has a particular rough time this time of year, said this recently in a
group we are in together:
  "I think that what is most amazing to me about this D-day anniversary is that the body remembers physical pain. I'm a bit emotional too, but I'm mostly holding it together. But without even consciously remembering the physical pains of that period, my body began feeling them. At first I thought I must be coming down with a flu or something. Then I realized that this is how my body felt in that time period. And I don't otherwise feel sick. It's crazy."

It is interesting what the body remembers that the mind has blocked out.  

In an article on trauma and post traumatic stress it says this:

"Most people are familiar with the definition concerning soldiers in a war; however, PTSD has expanded from its original wartime definition to include all people, not just soldiers. It can result from a single or prolonged life-threatening event. The memory can bury itself deep in the mind and, for years afterward, torment the person with all kinds of strange unexplained feelings. Some people come through these events and recover. Some do not. Why the difference? As yet, probably no one knows.

PTSD is difficult to treat, even difficult to diagnose. The disorder carries an especially strong stigma of dishonor and moral weakness. During the first and second world wars, people called some soldiers suffering from PTSD and stress breakdown “cowards” or “deserters.” The military has come a long way since then in recognizing the seriousness of this disorder. Since PTSD is actually the body’s natural response to an injury, it is not really an illness in the same sense as depression. It is, however, often accompanied by depression and other mental illnesses."

I want to believe I won't always struggle with the triggers.  I want to believe that after time and more recovery work, the painful reactions of the body will lighten and the traumatic responses lessen in intensity.  

I still have several holiday 'D-day anniversaries' to get through.  And that whole January to April season last year where H's living here and not was one of my worst emotional roller


I really need to steady myself and practice some breathing techniques.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Can Do Hard Things!

3d people conflict bubble speech

This is pretty much how my weekend went with H.  Complete with the empty dialogue in the speech bubbles.   Really, it wasn't pretty.  

Something happened though, that has me thinking....

I Can Do Hard Things!!

Staining the Deck - csp14321306I stained my deck.

I stained my deck -- all by myself!

This was no little thing.

I did not go into the weekend planning to do this job.  It was H's job.  But about an hour into 
it -- it all came apart at the seems.  

I don't want to stain decks, mow lawns, haul trash or do any of the things I think a husband 
should do.  I can do them, if I have to.  I proved that to myself this weekend.  Maybe this is 
an antiquated way of look-ing at things, but I think H should put some effort into this home 
he owns.  He should be willing to work on the jobs that home ownership require of him.  

For years, one of the reasons I was afraid of divorce was because of all the things I thought 
I needed a husband for.  I crossed one of those things off that list this weekend. 

This isn't a good thing.  It's sad.  

I don't know what is going on with H.  This isn't a new issues.  I've had problems in this area 
all my married life.  We have always owned a home.  The first one, belonged to H before we 
married.  When I got there, it was a nightmare.  

Red flag, huh?

Before I sent H to the store for another gallon of stain (twice what we really should have had 
to use) I asked him what was underneath this issue with him and jobs around the house.  It 
seems like they are always imploding on him.  Over the years we've had so many unfinished 
projects, project fights and paid handymen because its just easier than having to battle this 
out together.  

He's frozen.
He's dysfunctional.

When everything came apart, I knew that we didn't have time to stand around debating it.  
We spent thousands of dollars to have that deck built.  I wasn't about to have it ruined by not 
taking care of it. The season is waning, the weather turning, and that part time job that was 
supposed to be helping us financially was not what H thought it was -- at all.  Short of money, 
If H couldn't do it.  I would have to.

I stained my deck.  

I did it.

It was no small feat either.  I have a pretty good size deck.  It looks great considering this was 
my first time.

I'll be doing it again in the spring.  Just for good measure! :)

And now....

H is sleeping the guest room.

Not because he wouldn't stain the deck.

Because we rushed into him coming back home.  
Because its been a really hard six months.  Things haven't been right.
Because he's been lying.
Because of all the anger.
Because I haven't been right since he came home.
Because healing takes time -- and some times that means healing alone.
Because we can't work on us if he isn't working on him.
Because I need to work on me -- without H.

I honestly do not know what to do about my marriage.  I remember some notes I took at 
Togetherness last month in Maurice Hawker's session that I should go back and review.  
Maybe it will make sense of how to look at where I am and how to know when it is safe to 
try again.  

A year ago this month, I was just moving into my new house -- alone.  It was one of those 
gut decisions I made, and was so glad I did.  I didn't have proof then to back up that decision. 
I just knew I needed to act and wait for the answers to come.  

I spent the holiday alone -- and at peace -- without H.  

As the months past and the revolving door of separation ate up the beginning of 2014,  I came 
to understand why we separated and what those gut instincts were all about.  I'm glad I 
followed those impressions.  Along about May though, things started taking a life of their own, 
with H's remorse, phone calls to priesthood leaders, and promised to seek out recovery for 
his addiction, I felt pushed into re-uniting.   

Time to fall back and re-group.


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lying Yelling Anger and Boundaries

I want to go on record to say that recovery work is not for the weak.  It isn't for anyone without a strong resolve to heal and to move away from the ugliness.

It's still pretty ugly though  -- and freakin' hard!

If I could break down the pieces of H's addict behavior, the two that are the most difficult for me are
lying and anger.

I hate lying.
It makes me angry.  And I hate that.

It stirs up fear and doubt.  It brings back to the surface every lie and every moment of mistrust that ever happened.  At least, that is what it does with me.

It feels like cheating too.  Any kind of deception feels like that to me. 

It doesn't matter whether the lie is a big one or a little one.  A lie is a lie is a lie.  

It's wrong.
It hurts.

James E. Faust once said, 'Honesty is more than not lying.  It is truth telling, truth speaking, truth living, and truth loving."

I have always loved that quote.  It puts this issue right where it needs to be.  Truth living.  Truth loving.  

I watched an excellent CES Devotional about truth this week for school (kind of ironic since we are having lying issues with H again)  The title is What Is Truth.  It's long, but so worth watching.  It made me think about this issue for me and for H.  What are our truths vs. our beliefs.  Are they the same or different?  Are we rationalizing or justifying or are we seeking truth from the only source truth can come from?

I'm re-thinking my truth now that I've caught H in a few more lies.  I'm re-thinking him, me and us.  Especially because when I called him on the lie, he got up from his seat, came right over in to my personal space and yelled.  "I LIED!"

I wanted to crawl in a hole.  

I know you lied H.  I know the truth.  I see the evidence of the lie and the evidence of the proof of what I already knew.

The question is why?
How did this lie help you?  How did it help me or us?

When H came back home in May I established boundaries for lying.  The one that is being implemented right now is that H goes into the other bedroom until I feel safe enough with him.

H is sorry today.  
Right now, I don't care.

I've crawled back into my numb bubble.  I don't want to feel or care.  When he came up out of his chair and yelled at me his admittance as though that owning made it ok and now we could just call it what it is and move on ignoring the angry outburst...


No, I won't be treated like that.  I might have let you before.  I might have said, by not doing anything, that it was ok to disrespect me.  I might have sent an unspoken message of agreement that yelling at me, in my personal space, was an acceptable way to treat me -- because I was too afraid to stick up for myself.

It is not ok.  Not any more.  Not now that I know who I am and I know being treated this way is wrong for me.

Being yelled at by a man is not a new experience to me.  My dad yelled at me.  He had a mean look.  A scary look.  Really, I tried hard not to cross him.  I wasn't stupid, I knew the outcome of setting him off.  But I was a kid and I did stuff sometimes, not even realizing it.   I'd ignite the short fuse.  His voice would elevate.  His face would contort.  His finger would wag -- about as close to my face as it could get without hitting me.  

And I would cower.  

Until one day, when my dad got up in my grill -- I let him have it.  It was Thanksgiving.  My brother and I lived in California at the time.  I lived in the east bay and he lived on the peninsula, near where we'd lived most of our childhood.  My parents were in town.  In fact, the whole family was there, sister, sister's hubby and baby daughter.  

They were all over at my brothers.

They didn't come see me.  

I don't know how things are in your family, but in mine, we had a lot of unspoken expectations.  Things you just knew you were supposed to do.  Making sure I was at my brother's for Thanksgiving dinner was part of that expectation.  So was making a contribution to that dinner.  

I did that.

For two days, I was at my house, by myself prepping dishes to take to my brother's for dinner.  I had a baby and a difficult husband.  I didn't have a mom or a sister or sister-in-law to enjoy the preparations with.  It was just me getting ready to bring my part of the fun to them.  And hope it was acceptable.

By the time I got to the dinner, everyone was ready (I blew it there -- not being there to help, by the way).  I was dragging by the time I made it across the bay -- food and baby in tow.  H had gone to pick up our step-daughter so that she could join in the family event.

I want to say that dinner went well.  I can't.  

Dinner was served. They talked. They ignored me. They wouldn't eat what I brought.  Well, H did. He liked it.  To the rest of them....I was a nothing.  So was my food.  There wasn't anything wrong with the food, by the way.  I'm actually a very good cook.  

As these kinds of things go, its only a matter of time before they get worse.  In all the chaos, excitement, tired mommy-ness and too many people, my  little boy, a bundle of nerves and over stimulated  - threw up.   It wasn't that big of a deal, but it put me over the top.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to go home.

I gathered up all my things, packed my car, excused myself and was heading out when my dad came charging out into the street in hot pursuit.  He didn't come across the street to where I was putting my baby in the car.  He stood on the lawn and hollered at me.  He demanded to know where I was going and what the heck I thought I was doing leaving in the middle of family time.

I lost it.

I closed the door of my truck, walked around to my side and hollered right back at him.  "Who do you think you are?  And where were you or mom or anyone the past two days?  Do you have any idea what I've been doing or how hard I've worked to make this day special for all of you?  I'm tired.  S doesn't feel well.  We are going home."  

I got in the car.  Slammed the door,  all the while my dad was yelling at me from across the street.

H came out.  He didn't say a thing.  He just watched.  

That day, for once in my life, I walked away from a yelling man.  I stood my ground regardless of what anyone thought of me.  I said what I felt and left.  It was an ugly situation for sure.  I felt empowered. I felt like for once I had been true to me.

I haven't always been able to do that.  In fact, like the other night, I more often cower at first.  I feel intimidated.  I feel frightened, unsure if I am safe or if the anger will escalate and become physical.  It never has.  The reality is, it could, which is why these things are so frightening.

I don't know if H thought he would shut me up getting up in my face the way he did or if he just lost control of himself and wasn't thinking.  Between the lies and the anger respect boundaries have been violated.

I haven't been good at initiating boundary consequences since H came back.  This will be difficult on both of us.  Before H started into recovery any talk of a boundary was seen as an ultimatum, always met with anger, and more acting out.

I'm praying hard to just hang on right now.  H is pretty angry.  On top of this, he's trying to get our new deck stained before winter hits.  It's cold today, not too bad, but any cold is bad for H.  He also hurt his back this week.  Again, not badly, but any twinge makes him whiney.  Angry. Cold. Whiney.  It's not pretty.  He doesn't think right when he's angry either.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Things I Cannot Feel and Planning a Divorce in My Heart

Last week at group I mentioned that I needed to work on finding a way to feel.  Maybe this sounds odd, because I know I feel.  I feel pain when I burn myself cooking.  I feel delight when I see little children or animals do cute things.  I laugh at funny things.  I can get mad when I feel mistreated.

So what's the big deal?

The big deal is when H says something to me, something that I should be able to respond to in kind -- I can't.

When H calls during the day and says, "I love you" at the end of the call.  I hurry and hang up.  When H tells me how important I am to him, I squirm and want to run and hide in some safe place.  Yesterday H came up behind me and whispered something into my ear, something most women would love to hear.  I hated it.  I told him not to say that to me again.

What the heck, right?

Finally, after years of pain and frustration with H I can see he is trying.  I can see him behave in ways that I wished he would all those years ago.  I hear him saying things I knew he said to other people and know now he is only saying to me.

And I am just...'so what' about the whole thing.

I can't figure out why.

I want it to stop.

I said in my share last week that I needed to work on this.  I needed to find a way to be open and to trust that it is ok to feel.  I just don't know how.

So this past weekend I was in a lot of pain.  I have a pinched nerve in my back that is bringing me to tears.  I don't usually have back trouble.  I have an old injury from being badly rear-ended many years ago, but typically I have a good strong back.  I needed H to help and all I got was a frozen, stuck, hands-in-his-pocket response.  I was mad, hurt, frustrated.  I wanted to boot him to the curb but he doesn't have that other home to go to now that I have my married kids living there. That made me feel more stuck. (See I do feel some level..just not what I think I should be feeling.)

This all got me thinking, as I was sitting on the couch this weekend alternating ice and heat to relieve the pain that I've have this go-to response with H.  I've developed this plan over the years to help cope with the life I've been given.  I could never really leave, physically.  So I left emotionally.  I planned in my mind this leaving point in the future, after the kids were grown.  After they were old enough to "see" what was going on in their lives and know the truth.

I know I haven't always been this closed off.  I also haven't always lived in my mental planning stage either.  There was a time, right after the acting out started again, right after my parents died and all I had was H, that I opened up fully to him.  I tried to live like I really loved him.  I tried to start over with him like it was in the beginning.  Mistakenly believing this would some how fix what was wrong.

It worked for a bit.

Until I found more acting out.

Until I felt more betrayal (and realized what I was really dealing with in my marriage).

And I am, living this pretend life.  Telling myself that I should love him. I should tell him more often.  I should show him more often.  I should.  I should.  I should.





I hate this.  I want to find answers.  I want to not be stuck. I want to know if the reason I can't is because this whole thing -- this marriage -- this relationship is wrong.

For years I believed I stayed because I didn't have a choice.  I home schooled.  I wanted the right to be the mom to the only two children I was ever allowed to have.  I refused to walk away from my things.  I refused to be the one to lose everything.

So I stayed.

I pretended.

I tried even -- sometimes.  Most of the time.

But now, now when I want to be real and authentic.  When I want to know after all I've been through if I'm doing the right thing.  I can't feel what I need to feel to validate what I see.

I feel stuck.

Is your organization stuck between a tight budget and the need for ...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Reason I Work Recovery

I went back to school this past September (insert huge 'fiiiiiiinnnnnaly' here).

I loved it.  I'm working an online program through BYU-Idaho's Pathway.  I love being back about BYU.  I started my education at BYU-Provo.  Being back here is a lot like that 'coming home' feeling I've mentioned before.

As I was studying recently, I had a thought come to me as while reading this scripture:

“Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…    Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–9
It also hit me, while reading through this scripture a few times, this is why I work recovery.  This is my reason.  So many, many times as my 25 year marriage progressed I would ask God why this was happening.  So many times I would pray for guidance and direction, for help in making decisions of should I stay or leave or even divorce.  I always wanted my Heavenly Father to be a part of my decision process. 
I did not understand.
I thought prayer and faith was the process.  It was, in part, but to understand what I was going through I also needed to ask and to study it out in my mind and to do my part.  

For me, it took a lot of time to figure out what 'doing my part' meant for me.
When it became apparent that I was dealing with addiction a path opened I purchased recovery books I could get my hands on.  I started reaching out to support groups and to therapists.  As I came to understand what I was dealing with and the effect it was having on me, I had a place for some of the answers that Heavenly Father had waiting for me from all those prayers I'd offered over the years.

My early marriage years were lonely, confusing, full of hopelessness and constant prayers of despair until H's issues played out enough to diagnose them.  I know that during those horrible years the Lord placed a protective bubble, so to speak,  around me to shield me from a lot of the pain I could have lived with.  As the disclosures have come forward now the past couple of years, I know that I am strong enough to handle them.  

I would not have been in the early days of my marriage.

I have been in a lot of trauma over the years.  They were hell years.  It was hell hearing each of the disclosures as well.  The trauma from this addiction has damaged me.  I am no where near free from the pain of H's betrayal.  

I just know that I am on a healing path.  A two-part path that has come to me from my recovery work and from my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Atonement.  Together these two sources have helped me be able to pick myself up off the closet floor and stand upright again.   

The course is not an easy one, I have to tell you this.  I'm having to do some really hard work to get to a place of healing where I can stand on my feet each day and not cave at each wave of addiction or trauma. 

It feels good to not feel alone in this anymore.  

I spent so many years alone.  With no one to turn to and no where to go for help. Even my prayers and pleas to God felt ignored at times.  In my heart I knew they weren't, but in my despair and in my hurt the Adversary tried to convince me they were.  

If you are looking for a place of healing I know of several that are very good.  Here are a couple of my favorites to start with.  

Healing Through Christ

The Togetherness Project

Addo Recovery

Being able to connect with women who have walked this path has been one of the greatest sources of comfort for me.  The validation I have received from them that it is not me, that I'm not crazy, that this is addiction and it is ok to say that it hurts or it sucks.  Or even to say that you don't want to live with it any more.  This has empowered me.

This is how I found my strength again.

Now I can take all of this; the validation, my therapy, my recovery books, conferences I attend and even that scary video I did and decide who I am and who I want to be.

Before recovery -- I was doing good if I could just get up in the morning and breathe in and out all day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Going and Coming Home

I've been quiet here the past little bit while I took time to prepare for a trip home.  I just can't explain adequately how good it felt to finally get home, and not have to rush through a quick visit.  Little D and I took this trip by ourselves.  1400 miles (one way).  It was awesome.  The best part of the drive for us is when we find ourselves west enough that we begin to see the foothills of the Rocky Mountain range.  Excitement builds realizing that we are getting close to 'home'.  We love the mountains as much as the family and friends there.

I loved being on this trip by myself.  I know H was sad to have stayed behind, but oh how I loved the break.  Is that terrible?  This was all about self-care for me.  I didn't even allow myself to feel bad. Maybe I should have felt bad -- I just didn't.  That in and of itself is a huge switch for me.

Maybe I am healing -- somewhat.  At least in the sticking up for myself aspect.

I had a wonderful time.
I spent most of it with family.  People I love and miss dearly.
I attended the Togetherness Conference finally putting faces to some of the best women in the world.
I ate some awesome food.  I even got brave enough to try the Thai food my family is so fond of.
I did some massive shopping.  What can I say here -- it was awesome.

and then...

I cried when I left Utah.

I cried because I knew I had to go home.  I've lived in many places during my life time, but I am my most happy in Utah.  It wasn't always this way, but time has a way of calling hearts home.  My heart belongs in a valley in the middle of the Rocky Mountains where each day I looked out my window to the changing seasons revealing themselves on the mountainside.

I've spent the last 14 year wishing I could go home.

Maybe I should stop that.

New home being constructed to sell al Georgia, USA. - stock photo

Maybe I'm not seeing this the way I should.  I have a lovely home.  All my things are here.  All the pieces of 'me' that I have collected over the years, pieces of me that tell my story.  My kids are here.  And now grandchildren as well.

When I moved in to my current home, alone, I had the great advantage of being able to set it up without any of H's input, which makes this really, truly, my home.

In this home I am as much me as I can be.

As time goes on,  I know I'll settle back in to my routine and be fine.  I'll forget about the mountain view.  I'll put the people on the page they sit on the back burner of my life's mind.  Time will march on busy with family, church, school and life in general until the pull begins again.

Have you ever felt that pull?

For me, it is like I've been hiding from something the very core of me needs and I can no longer push it out of my mind.  Ignoring it means ignoring me.

Working my recovery has been a lot like this emotion.  As I work on the different elements of recovery I find the pull even stronger.  It is as if I need to acknowledge me.

The need to dig myself out, to un-bury me from the pain, the neglect, the betrayal is a crucial focus for me.  Much of this trip was for my recovery.

Here's some of what I gained:

1.  Bravery:  Realizing that I could drive those 1400 miles -- both ways, secure hotels, stop for gas, food or anything else -- on my own -- was big time brave.

2.  Self-care:  Taking this trip alone, knowing H had to stay here for work, was motivated by my need to for self-care.  Time away would be healing for me.  Allowing myself the privilege to not have to put myself second was huge for me.

3. Education:  This one belongs in bravery too, because heading to Togetherness alone was brave.  Attending Togetherness was a huge reason for making the trip when I did.  I both wanted and needed the education and training I would get from the awesome presenters speaking at this year's Togetherness Conference.

4. Faith:  Knowing I would be making the trip alone created a lot of anxiety initially.  The desire to follow through on my plans was large enough that instead of canceling my plans, I sought out priesthood blessings to help bring peace to my anxious soul.  As the trip progressed uneventfully, my faith increased, along with my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for helping me find the strength I had lost so long ago in the turmoil of life.

5. Connection:  Not only was it a blessing to be able to connect with family to renew those special relationships.  I was also able to make connections with women who share this life trial.  Women who know.  Women who have walked this journey and kept their beauty, their spirit, their love of life whole enough to share it with me.  I love these women dearly and am grateful to have been able to meet women I have long called friends, as well as make new ones that have already enriched my life.

Every time I make this trip I spend a lot of time pondering the possibility of returning there permanently.  I don't know if it will ever happen.  I would hate to make that life change and miss the sweet little grands I live so close to now.  I am pulled by both homes; the one I long for and the one I live in. Then some times, in my nostalgic moments, I long for the home that will tie all these emotions together, connecting all of the important people and memories in to one single place, and from that place -- never, ever, have to leave again.