Bill of Rights

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

It is happening  --  the end and the beginning merging together.
It is a time to ponder what was and ponder what will be.
It is looking back with and forward.
It is planning.
It is organizing.

For some, it is praying this will be the year when he gets it. The year he gives up what has been dragging him and everyone around him down. The year addiction does not consume all our energy.

What ever your new year brings you, I hope it is more joy and more peace.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Want Normal!

For the past few weeks "I Want Normal!" has been my battle cry.

I want a normal life.
I want a normal husband.
I want to be a normal family at church.
I want to celebrate a normal Christmas.
I want NORMAL!

My life is anything but normal. If I was smart, I would get out my 12-step tools and use some of them to help me through this current struggle.

I don't know -- that might be too easy...'let go and let God' and all.

For the past 20 month's since my husband's return I have been looking for that time when I would be ok with the decision.  I just haven't. Every issue, every situation, every upset has been a reminder of why we separated in the first place.  It got so bad one day I locked myself in the bathroom and cried out to God, 'Is it time for me to go yet?"

I think Christmas cinched it for me when we got back from celebrating with family, H bolted into the house and right up to his room and went to bed.

... set up their Christmas trees weeks before the Christmas Eve at the

What?????    Seriously?  Um? Christmas Eve?  Did you forget something?  Something freakin' important?

Maybe I'm being a big brat here. I mean, I usually do it all myself. Except that he is usually watching a movie with me. He's usually in the family room -- where I am working.  He's usually NOT upstairs in his room asleep like it is any other night of the year!

And then there were the photos of friends of ours on Facebook that made this all hurt worse. They just had their last child get married. Technically they have been empty-nesters for a few years, but now it is official.  He posted pictures of their cute little Christmas Eve celebration, complete with cookie decorating together and snuggling with matching pj's on the couch together.

I'm feeling the loss even deeper.  3.5 years and D will be gone. It will just be me and ??

Man snoring

I'm losing hope in something like this:

I don't know -- 27 years of despair are pretty hard to keep bottled up.

I was watching 'The Theory of Everything" the other day. Have you seen it?  It is the story of Stephen Hawking's life. (warning) I was triggered at first -- the girl is in love and willing to put up with anything to get the guy -- even knowing he only has two years to live.


Of course he beats all odds and then the reality of the we-are-so-in-love-we-can-battle-anything sets in.  First there is a guy that floats her boat -- and then a woman that floats his.  It is how the world sees marriage -- when it gets too hard you move on.

I could feel the woman's despair.

I'm not wired like that woman.  I've stuck this out for so long now because of covenants. I've had to work though all the painful reality of why I keep mine even if he doesn't keep his.  I've tried to 'let go and let God.' H's crimes are not my sins to pay for. Even if it destroys our marriage -- I won't let it destroy me.  I can still be a kind person. I can still try to make a happy home.

You can't force happy.
It has to come from within the individual.
All the baking, decorating, and fussing about the home to make everything perfect for everyone else -- will only be perfect if they choose.

I keep hearing Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's words in my head

I know I am supposed to see things this way. I know I'm supposed to keep trying and stay happy -- no matter what -- but I am weary of it being always me

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Wishes!

Christmas Vector Background Graphics

This has been a difficult Christmas for me. I'm not sure where the spirit of the season is this year. I keep longingly looking for it. Even as I sat in my services this past Sunday. I wanted so much to feel. I even had several parts to participate in -- nothing.  I wasn't even on my game for those either.  

At first I thought it was the late start I got due to not finishing the semester until the 17th. Which kept me from finishing my decorating.  I only put up one tree. My collection of snowmen are still chillin' away in the basement. In fact, all the boxes of decor are still scattered about in disaray downstairs. I am still trying to get all my lights up outside even as I write this.  

Maybe it just isn't my year.

Still, one thing I do know, without a doubt -- even minus my Christmas joy -- and that is that Christ did come to this earth to suffer for the sins of mankind. He came and because he did -- he knows the pain in my heart and the longing I have for His love -- even as broken as I am this year.  

You've probably already viewed this piece several times over the course of your Christmas preparations, but I want to log it in here as much for me as for you. I never want to forget, even in all my pain that the world DOES indeed have a Savior.  He came for you and for me. For the joyous times and for the times when our hearts are turned inside out and shattered.  

Where ever you are this Christmas, I pray God's light shines upon you, that you feel wrapped in the arms of the Savior and know that his mission was to save each of us -- if we let him.

Wise men came from the east, looking for the one predicted by the star

Wise men still seek Him

Monday, November 16, 2015

An Unexpected Piece of Inspiration

I am too familiar with that feeling that something is off and not quite right. Some call it a 'gut feeling' others inspiration. Whatever you call it, if you've lived with addiction, or if you have a tender sensitivity to the Spirit, it's likely this is a familiar feeling to you as well.

The American Psychological Association said this about the gut feeling: "With a sophisticated neural network transmitting messages from trillions of bacteria, the brain in your gut exerts a powerful influence over the one in your head."

Don't you love that explanation? (read the whole article when you get a chance -- it's fascinating.)

Up until 20 months ago, this feeling it the gut warned me of the possibilities that H wasn't telling the truth about his whereabouts, or about the page on the computer he just shut down, or that phone call.  I appreciated those warning triggers -- afterwards.  When they hit, they usually brought with them some other unpleasant emotions, like fear and a physical sense that I was going to be sick. 

Now, it seems those gut warnings are for another purpose. One I am just now discovering.

Now they are helping me sort through the emotional abuse I am getting when H and I discuss the right or wrong of an approaching issue.

It could be whether we should do something on the Sabbath. It could be an issue with kids, even with a bill.  Or it could just be during the regular course of our conversations where anger and meanness are his go to M.O.

The past little while have been pretty rough in this latter area.  We've had a particular issue that needed addressing. We were not getting any where together.  Usually H tells and I just acquiesce.  I don't like when that happens. I feel dismissed and discounted and that I will 'pay' if I don't do as H demands.

And that is just wrong!

In my gut I knew this issue I kept running into was wrong. When I'm bullied, and feel intimidated, I can't get the words out to properly defend myself.  (I'm sure that is a good thing.  Flying back at H with cruelty isn't a good idea, but the alternative is a sense of powerlessness).

Today, I was given a little gift and a little understanding. 

It came via an assignment from my religion instructor, in the form of this address.

It's called "Counseling Together in Marriage" by Randy Keyes.

It's excellent.

It filled in all the hurting, painful, places H has made recently in things he's said to me when he and I try to talk.

Today, I realize, for the first time, all this effort on my part to make sure I've done everything I can -- can not encompass H's side of things.

Today, for the first time, in a long time, I feel a sense of freedom.

All this is not on me.

I knew this, in a logical sense. But when things aren't going right between us, it feels like it is all my fault.  I'm the one who needs to change or lighten up or something.

Recently, H told me it was asking too much of him to expect him to read scriptures on top of everything else he does.  (He does work two jobs right now to help support our Marine's son's family. There is no discounting how difficult that is for him).  I am also not trying to force the issue of personal scripture study. If he doesn't have a interest or desire for that, I accept that.

What is important to me, is knowing where he is with the gospel and spirituality.  For me, this discord, does not work.  For years I made the choice to accept his approach to spiritual matters and not let that be an issue between us.  Adding this to the sex addiction and we are just drifting down different value paths.

I loved this part, "The husband is accountable for growth and happiness in his marriage, but this accountability does not give him authority over his wife."

When H tell me, "I just can't talk to you!"  
That is N. O.T.  on me.

I really am and have been trying to help make this marriage better.
But how do I do that without his help?
 ..and when I wasn't the one who brought all the pain and ugliness of addiction into our relationship?

Where does this leave me?    

I wish I knew.

H thinks I'm going to broadcast all of this to the High Council (his reason for not working on getting re-baptized).


I still live in crazy town.

For now, it is giving me something to think about a little more and pray about a little more specifically.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Letter to My Husband

*I sent this via email to my husband yesterday after being hit upside the head with a does of reality.  My reality.   I'm not sure it will do any good. I just need it recorded that I tried.  

H --

I had a little dose of reality that I am really struggling with.  I hope, in my limited way, to help you see what I saw in a recent visit to the Church's membership app.

The Church updated the LDS Tools app where all the stake and ward membership information can be found. The update is pretty cool. Heads of families now have access to blessing dates, baptism dates, missionary information, sealings,etc.  No one, but the family heads can see this. Members in a ward or stake can only see phone/address info.  

The issue I had, occurred when trying to open up you details. Nothing is there. You have been blotted out from the kingdom.  

It was an startling reality.  I know they keep your name on the list because you are married to me and I am a member. 

Other than that -- there is nothing.

26+ years of effort and prayer and today there is nothing.  

Its been 20 momths. 
Where are you in your progress towards returning to the fold? 
What is going on inside of you with your desire to be counted (named) with the Saints? 

I fear this is like every other problem we have -- while the fire is hot you focus on it.  When things settle down you turn your attention away.  

I'm not sure why I have the sense your continued status as an excommunicated member does not bother you.
I do.

How long has it been since you were able to take the sacrament?
How long has it been since you were able to hold a calling and help build the kingdom?
How long has it been since you could offer a prayer in a meeting on behalf of the members of your ward?
How long has it been since you could add your vote of consent to callings or releases?

In my mind -- these are tragedies.

I  might suggest (your call) that you do a personal inventory and see where you are with yourself and with the Lord. When you know -- maybe you can help the Stake President to see.

I'm attaching links to a few talks by Elder Oaks that may help get a fire lit under this again. 

This first one -- may help you evaluate where you are in your recovery process.  

This second one -- is a great talk for those who struggle and how the Lord helps ease our struggles

 This one is a talk by Elder Holland given to the student body of BYU (Provo) when he was the president of the university.  
 It is a deep and bold address, as Elder Holland is known to give, on human intimacy.  It is something I have been hoping we can get to a place to discuss.  Some days I feel it will never happen.

(-- just as an aside Rhyll Crowshaw shares this address on her addiction recovery website: {This isn't where I first learned of Holland's talk, though it makes me happy to see it on a recovery site}  Here's her little excerpt:  S.A. Lifeline )Foundation )

On that fated April day when you called me on the phone, pleading for another chance, the instruction I felt I received from the Lord, was to help you find your way back into His fold. I wasn't told this was the marriage for me and I needed to work on it. I wasn't told that you were healed and I would be ok. I wasn't even told there wouldn't be more addiction to deal with.  I was told to help you find God and come to know the Savior and the redeeming gift of his Atonement.  

This is the reason for this email.

I know I can't drag you to heaven, nor do I want to.  I see the drift between us continuing to widen in this area.  I'm saddened by that. 

I'd like to feel like for once we are progressing together.

Instead, I feel like this is all there will every be.

I'm not ok with where we are.  

I wish it bothered you as much as it does me --- or at least bothered you enough to do something about it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Togetherness Project Conference

I know my circle of influence here is small, but it only takes one person talking to another to move the word along.

Last October I finally got my brave on and my resources together to attend my first Togetherness Conference.  I was so scared to go. I wanted to tell everyone so that I could make those connections.  I was also afraid something would happen at home with H that would prevent me from taking the trip to Utah to attend the conference.  I decided not to tell a soul, but when I got there, people came up to me and introduced themselves. It was like meeting family.  I loved it.  The presentations were amazing.  I wish I could have attended everyone.

If you haven't attended one of these conferences -- you need to.

They are amazing!

Here's the details.

The latest Togetherness Conference is rapidly approaching -- last time it was in Utah it sold out and had to turn people away, so make sure to register today for this life changing event!

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OCTOBER 17, 2015 • SLC, UT

  • A day of healing and connection with other women who, just like you, have found themselves searching for empathy and understanding
  • Six breakout sessions led by an amazing lineup of presenters and therapists
  • Inspiring keynote speakers
  • Lunch and dinner

Please consider sharing this on Facebook or Instagram, to help spread the word to women who are dealing with betrayal trauma that they are NOT ALONE:

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Law of Chastity - A Lesson in Relief Society

For the past month, I have been stressing and stewing over a presentation I gave in my local women's meeting at church.  I stressed over how to present the topic. I stew over an applicable and non-shaming object lesson.  I invited the bishop (the pastor of my congregation) even to share his thoughts.  I prayed -- countless times. I read as much supportive material as I could get my hands on. No  matter how prepared I was, there was no ease in the worry that topic of this lesson would cause those in the room to squirm in their seats, or even one or two to escape to the hallway in avoidance.  

Why is a discussion on chastity and morality so difficult to engage in? 

Why can't we talk to one another without the embarrassment or shame that comes with a discussion on this topic?

Today, I am grateful to be on this side of that stress. I'm relieved to have that lesson behind me.  Most importantly, I am grateful for that the Spirit of the Lord attended me and touched hearts.  I am still receiving texts or email from women in the congregation thanking me for the lesson.  I know it wasn't me that delivered the message to their hearts. I know the impressions they act on today because of what was discussed happened only because they were willing to invite the Spirit into their hearts to be teachable. did help some that I had some pretty incredible statistics to read to them..

Here are a few of the points I want to remember and have to refer to:

From President Ezra Taft Benson:
 1. Traveling widely as a religious and political leader, President Ezra Taft Benson was keenly aware of the steady moral decline throughout the world, especially with regard to the law of chastity. He took a strong stand against this decline, teaching that “the law of chastity is a principle of eternal significance.” He declared that “in the Church and kingdom of God, chastity will never be out-of-date, regardless of what the world may do or say.” He further taught: “We must be in the amoral and immoral world, … but not of it. We must be able to drop off to sleep at night without having to first sing lullabies to our conscience.

The plaguing sin of this generation is sexual immorality. This, the Prophet Joseph said, would be the source of more temptations, more buffetings, and more difficulties for the elders of Israel than any other.
Sexual immorality is a viper that is striking not only in the world, but in the Church today. Not to admit it is to be dangerously complacent or is like putting one’s head in the sand. In the category of crimes, only murder and denying the Holy Ghost come ahead of illicit sexual relations, which we call fornication when it involves an unmarried person, or the graver sin of adultery when it involves one who is married. I know the laws of the land do not consider unchastity as serious as God does, nor punish as severely as God does, but that does not change its abominableness. In the eyes of God there is but one moral standard for men and women. In the eyes of God chastity will never be out of date. …
No sin is causing the loss of the Spirit of the Lord among our people more today than sexual promiscuity. It is causing our people to stumble, damning their growth, darkening their spiritual powers, and making them subject to other sins.

3. Most people fall into sexual sin in a misguided attempt to fulfill basic human needs. We all have a need to feel loved and worthwhile. We all seek to have joy and happiness in our lives. Knowing this, Satan often lures people into immorality by playing on their basic needs. He promises pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment.

From President Gordon B. Hinckley:

"I recently read that pornography has become a $57 billion industry worldwide. Twelve billion of this is derived in the United States by evil and “conspiring men” (see D&C 89:4 ) who seek riches at the expense of the gullible. It is reported that it produces more revenue in the United States than the “combined revenues of all professional football, baseball and basketball franchises or the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC” (“Internet Pornography Statistics: 2003,” Internet,

It robs the workplace of the time and talents of employees. “20% of men admit accessing pornography at work. 13% of women [do so]. … 10% of adults admit having internet sexual addiction” (“Internet Pornography Statistics: 2003”). That is their admission, but actually the number may be much higher." (Gordon B. Hinckley, October 2004 General Conference)


In the great battle for the city of Cumeni, Helaman tells of his 2,060 stripling warriors who “fought most desperately” against their enemies (Alma 57:19). While “there was not one soul of them who did perish” in that battle, “neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds” (Alma 57:25). Many of these teenage soldiers were so terribly wounded that they fainted from the loss of blood.
These young warriors fought a battle that their parents could not fight for them, and they fought it because their society had been attacked. A similarly disastrous war rages among modern teenagers, for similar reasons. Today’s parents can no more fight the spiritual battles for their youth than the people of Ammon could. But they can learn to recognize the spiritual wounds this war inflicts and arm their children with the knowledge and resources they will need to survive.
Some studies show that close to one hundred percent of today’s teenagers will be exposed to pornography by the time they graduate from high school, and most of those exposures occur on the Internet while the child is doing homework.1 As of 2008, an estimated 9 out of 10 young men and nearly one-third of young women reported using pornography.2 The average age of exposure and addiction are the same: 11 years old.

These are just a few of the ones I used for this class.  One of the motivating factors in this opportunity for me comes from the instructions given in step 12 of most 12-step programs.  That of, sharing this message.  It isn't always a voice of hope that is needed. Sometimes the warning needs shouted. When a voice of warning is needed and the opportunity presents itself -- I raise the red flag. 
Yesterday I had the chance to open a door in my church circles to talk openly and honestly about this plague. I talked about my 12-step groups for support for family members.  I talked about resources for children and what to do in homes so that children have a safe place to go when they confront pornography.  I didn't tell my story or say a single word about my husband.  I didn't have to.  It is, unfortunately, touching too many lives for it to be hidden any more.