Bill of Rights

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!