Saturday, June 22, 2019

Trusting Myself

I am currently reading a book that has held me riveted, it's called Educated and it is written by Tara Westover. I am appalled and at the same time enthralled with this woman's story. How a human could have been raised the way she was and survive, let alone create a new life for herself is astounding to me. If you haven't read it, I recommend it.

This post isn't a book review though, it's about something she wrote in her book. There are times I find myself rewriting history, well not really rewriting it, but forgetting pieces of it. I am healing, growing, and learning that I am more than what my trauma has told me. Reading Ms. Westover's words reminded me that there were years where I lived in a different state of mind though. "...that I was likely insane. If I was insane, everything could be made to make sense. If I was sane nothing could. This logic seemed damning. It was also a relief. I was not evil; I was clinical." I felt crazy for years in my marriage, I lived with that feeling of craziness at times, even though I knew in my heart I wasn't.

I don't diminish the fact that I was gaslighted, and I am not taking on responsibility for my ex-husband's actions by saying that I "chose" crazy. I didn't choose to feel crazy consciously. I felt crazy because what I felt in my gut and what I was being told by my ex and by my own investigation differed. I knew things to be one way in my heart, but my logical mind couldn't find proof. That led me to feel crazy.

Why the statement above resonated so much with me was because in a way I did choose to feel crazy, because I chose not to trust myself. I had promptings that B was deep in his addiction and was lying to me. I would investigate to try and "catch" him, but he was really good at covering his tracks. Then I would confront him and he would very convincingly lie to me. Therefore, I MUST be crazy because why else would I get "promptings" or "gut feelings" if they weren't true? Only they were true, and I trusted what my logic mind was telling me over what my spiritual center perceived. I trusted my what I saw more than I trusted my faith in God.

I am not comparing or correlating my own experience to that of the author's, only saying that her words struck a chord with me tonight. I know what it feels like to question your own sanity when in the mode of self-preservation. When the truth you are being required to face, is harder than living with the feeling of insanity.

My life is what I choose it to be, at least to some degree. I am handed situations that are out of my control, that is how life happens. I am not in control of what happens to me, I am in control of how I react to what happens to me. I don't always react the way I wish I did. I frequently don't react the way I wish I did, for that matter. I am however, in control of how I act and react. I have help dealing with my actions and reactions though. I take medication for depression and anxiety, I attend therapy, and I try and maintain a close relationship with God. My life is my own to chose, however, I was not meant to chose to walk alone. I cannot choose to live my life in isolation and be my happiest self. Sometimes people and situations enter my life and I am taxed and challenged in ways I am ill-equipped to handle. That is when I need to choose to trust myself and rely on the tools and people around me, including my faith in God. I didn't choose to do this for a long time, and once I did, it took me a long time to learn to trust myself again. That was truly one of the hardest things I have had to recover from, the absolute inability to trust myself.  It was one of the things that most devastated our marriage, the fact that I was conditioned not to trust myself.

If you don't trust yourself, start trying. You are not alone in this battle. There are many others here to help. Trust yourself enough to reach out.

Learning to trust,

T.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Black Hole and a View of the Universe

I've tried to write this post three times, and it's not going where I had intended it to go, so I'm just writing to see what comes out. Obviously what I wanted to say is not what I need to say. Music. When I started writing this post I was writing about the black hole I've been in lately. But a song came on and it has changed my entire message. It's called Hanging D by Joep Beving. I has created the image of the universe for me, stars, an colors, and flow. I don't even know how to express the sense of something bigger that has permeated me. God. My Heavenly Father knows that sometimes the best way to get me to feel is through music. Tonight He did that. So tonight, my message has changed from the one I had intended to share about pain and darkness, to one of light, freedom, and hope. 

There have been some really dark times in my life. Times when I wanted to give up and sit on the couch eating junk food and letting my life fall down around me. Recently that's where I have been. Tonight not so much. Tonight I feel hope. I have a sense of purpose because I feel that I am a part of something bigger. Not in the way that I feel that my problems are small or insignificant, or that I am small and insignificant. In a way that I am part of a bigger family, a village of people, both here and in a realm I cannot see. I am surrounded by love. Words are so inadequate right now to express the sense of feeling and being that I have. 

I love to write, but tonight words are failing me. There are two forms of expression that I carry no talent in. One is music, and the other dance. Right now I wish I did because I think I could express myself in a way that would get my feeling across. I don't know how to say it, so I will just share a link below to the video. The ending is unexpected, yet somehow it fits.


Hopefully, 

T.

Monday, July 23, 2018

God and my Girlfriends

I recently heard a song by Reba McEntire called God and my Girlfriends. In it she talks about how the two constants in her life have been God and her friends, and how she relies on them. It really spoke to me, because I don't know what I would do without God or my girlfriends. I have the most amazing support system around, and I would not make it through this journey called life without them. If you are struggling now, reach out, find your tribe. I know it can feel like you are all alone, but that is never true. God is ALWAYS there. It may feel very much like He is not, but He is. In our darkest and hardest moments He is there. HE is there to help us celebrate and to help us mourn.
He is the center of my life, and without Him, I would be lost. He has also brought the most amazing women into my life. I am able to be loved and give love to the circle of people that surround me. I am blessed beyond words. I pray everyday, that others can be as blessed as I have been. Take a minute to thank God for all your blessings, including the people He has surrounded you with. I know I will.


Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Road Less Traveled

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

This poem has been in my mind the last couple of weeks, particularly the last verse. I feel like Heavenly Father has led me to where two roads have diverged, and that I have chosen the one less traveled by. The divergence He has led me to, is two different paths to a graduate degree. In the back of my mind for months now has been the thought that I have graduate school options, and I have fought those thoughts a lot. I honestly had no desire to go back to school. None. Now, it's all I can think about, and I am excited.

It always amazes me that I can feel inspiration from Him so clearly, when just a few years ago, I had done my best to cut myself off from God. That is a story for another time, or you can read it on my Instagram post form earlier this week (@leavingnothingunsaid on Instagram). Like I said, I've had thoughts about graduate school in the back of my head for a few months, but in the last two weeks, He has brought them front and center. He has shown me that I need to take a new road, one I have not traveled before. I have had two major choices in fields of study in my mind, and logically, one makes a lot more sense than the other. It is directly related to my undergraduate degree, it probably has a higher earning potential, and it has a high demand. The other degree, is not directly related to my undergrad degree, but I can move right to it, it is definitely the road less traveled for me, it makes the least logical sense of the two choices, and yet I feel called to take it. I always knew what I was meant to do growing up, from the time I was little. I never wavered. I have followed that path for 21 years, this would be a completely different career. It is, however, a career that I am deeply passionate about and feel called.

I give all the credit where it is due, my Father in Heaven. He has guided my life. He has lead me through the worst trial of my life. He will continue to bring me through. As I have taken steps down that road less traveled, it has felt peaceful and right. It's not going to be easy, but it is what I am meant to do.

Travelling,

T.

*poem from poetryfoundation.org

Thursday, February 15, 2018

One is the Loneliest Number

Heavenly Father has truly blessed me to have amazing people in my life, I have felt His love so deeply through the people He has placed in my life. In the last few months though, hard and amazing events have happened in the lives of a lot of my support people that have pulled them away. I don't blame any of them, everyone has to know their limits, and everyone deserves to focus on their own needs, hopes and dreams. My sister has had a lot going on, working full time, building a house, going to school, so she hasn't had a lot to give me. One of my closest friends has gone back to school, and another one has had to put her mom in assisted living and has bought a house. My LifeStar group ended abruptly and with a fair amount of emotion. My parents just moved into a new home, so they have been busy. My sister and parents already live a few hundred miles away, so that limits in person support any way. The relationship with my "sisters" that I had through marriage has changed with the divorce (which is to be expected). All these things have happened in the last few months.

I still have some amazing support in my life. I have some amazing friends that I reach out to daily, and they allow me to be there for them. I have a therapist that knows me so well and is helping me navigate all this. I have a group of friends that I am able to video chat with.  I have friends at church. I'm not without support, but I AM lonely.

I miss having someone that I could talk to at the end of the day. Someone to share the joy and burden of parenting with.  I miss having someone to sit on the couch with and watch tv. I miss having someone to hold me on a hard day and just let me cry. These things were largely missing the last few years of my marriage, but there was still the hope of having them when B and I were married.

Maybe my loneliness is partly grief for what I dreamed and hoped to have in my marriage and never did on a consistent basis, and didn't really have at all the last few years. Maybe I am grieving the loss of a partner. That feels true. Sometimes I need to start typing or writing in order to get the feelings out. I am grieving the loss of the marriage I always wanted I think. I don't think I am grieving that loss of my actual marriage, I am grieving the loss of the marriage I always wanted. I never gave up hope that we could have that marriage. Clear up until a few weeks before our divorce, I still has some hope that we could rebuild and have an even stronger marriage than we had ever had. Hope is so hard at times.

I don't have unrealistic expectations of marriage. I know that every marriage has challenges and that it is by working through those challenges that growth happens and strength is gained. I want to put in the work to build a relationship of trust and understanding. I want a partnership.

I keep getting the message that I'm not ready to date and/or have a relationship. It's coming from all over, including from myself. I know I have growing to do. I know that I have trust issues and body shame. I know I lack confidence and love for myself. I know that I'm probably not ready for a relationship. That doesn't diminish the need I have for connection. It doesn't ease the loneliness, or decrease the desire to have a partner. I know that I need to learn to surrender these feelings to my Heavenly Father. I know that Christ has already carried this burden for me. I have true faith in the power of The Atonement. Right now I am having difficulty accessing it. The loneliness is so bone deep right now that I literally feel like I have a hollow place in side my chest.

I also know that every single day I see Heavenly Father's tender mercies in my life. I see His love for me in both little and big ways. I feel his care and concern for me. Because I feel and know these things, I know that I will be able to get through this. I am not hopeless, just weary. I know that what is happening right now, this bone deep loneliness, won't stay forever. I know that I will be able to access Christ's loving atonement for me again. I know that this is just a temporary stopping point on my journey. I will get through this. I will find joy and connection again.

I can't predict the future, or see when or if I will have another relationship or marriage. I know that Heavenly Father's hand is in my life. I have faith that I will continue to be blessed by him. Just writing this has helped lift some of the loneliness and allowed some hope to sneak in.

Less lonely,

T.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Trusting Touch Again

One of the hardest things for me about Betrayal Trauma, is that touch became unsafe. Anytime B. touched me I felt he had ulterior motives. I always wondered what he "expected" from the touch. Was I going to get used again? It didn't matter what his intentions were, because he had touched me in unsafe ways, all touch started to feel unsafe. I hated it, because I am a very physically affectionate person, although because I felt I couldn't trust B's touch, I didn't want to touch our be touched. It hurt. I have found that I have learned how to trust touch in vulnerable situations again though.

If you are just learning to trust again, this may seem unfathomable to you. It certainly felt unfathomable to me for a while. I was introduced to a massage therapist we will call C. Well, I actually won a massage from her about fourish years ago. I was terrified the first time I went. It was scary to get naked on a table and let anyone touch me. I wanted to have a healing person touch me, but I was scared. C. was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G at putting me at ease. It took me a long time to be able to completely relax and let go though. She was patient with me and her character and energy are innately soothing, so I gradually started to trust that she could help me relax by using therapeutic touch. I started to trust someone to touch me for my benefit. 

She has been using a modality called Myofascial Release Therapy on me for over a year now. It's a gentle touch that stretches and lengthens the fibers that cover all of our muscles and bind them together in a continuous sheet. Our entire body is covered in fascia, and by releasing the fascia the muscles relax. It is far more therapeutic for me than an actual massage. For more information about Myofascial Release Therapy click here

I'll admit to being a skeptic at first, how could such a gentle touch relax my muscles which are often in knots. I will very willingly admit, I was wrong. This gentle touch has done more to help me relax and heal both physically and emotionally than any other form of touch has. 

It wasn't until my treatment a month ago though, that I realized what an amazing gift C. had given me. I had learned to trust touch again. I had learned to allow another to touch me when I am most vulnerable in a safe and healing manner. It was seriously one of those lightning bolt moments. I realized as I was getting dressed that I trust C. completely, and in turn have learned to trust other touch. I implicitly trust that she has my healing as her focus when she is working on me. I have learned that touch CAN be healing. My body and my heart realized this a long time before my mind did. I thought back and realized that I let my guard down with her a long time ago. I trust her to intuitively know what my body needs and provide it (and she never fails to do so).

To lay there naked, in that vulnerable state, and know that I'm being protected (she keeps me modest and comfortable), and be able to completely relax, is remarkable. It is literally the only time all month that my brain "turns off" and finds peace. It is someplace I can be physically and emotionally vulnerable that I never feel judged, and I know I will never be taken advantage of. In fact, C. has gone above and beyond in making sure I get treated and that I am healing. 

I know that Heavenly Father has given me the gift that is C., so that I can learn to trust that touch is safe again. I know that she is an angel here on earth. My respect and admiration of her is deep. She has truly been a gift in my life that I feel I can never repay, but that because of who she is I will never feel I need to. Thank you C., for teaching me to trust that touch can be healing and safe again.

Sincerely,

T.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

An Update

I realized that I haven't journaled here since February, and that I have three posts started that I never finished, so I will give you an update.

I haven't gone back to review anything I have previously posted, so I am sorry if this is a bit of a surprise.

First thing, B. and I are divorced. We made the decision, filed, and was finalized in about five or six weeks. It was surreal how fast it moved. It was a relief in a lot of ways too though. It was a weight lifted to know that there was an answer, and the answer was that I had given all I could and that it was ok to be done. It was a relief to know that I am no longer on constant guard in my own home. That I have the space to heal and grow as I need to, without so many triggers and emotions on a daily basis. It was hard. We were married for twenty-two years in March. We have two amazing children that are affected by this. There were financial repercussions. I took all those things into account when I told B. that I wanted a divorce. I still have complete peace knowing it was the right thing for all of us at this point. Not the easy thing, but the right thing.

Many may thing that divorce is the easy answer, and in some ways maybe it is...but it wasn't an easy answer for me. It was difficult and drawn out (it took me nearly three years of working recovery to get to that point).

I have also seen some incredible growth as a result of the divorce. I have become much more independent. I have tackled home improvement projects I never would have before. I rarely worry about what others think of me, and when I do I can generally surrender them pretty easily. I have so much less anger in my heart. I have learned wholeheartedly how loved I am by my Heavenly Father. I am proud of the woman I am becoming. It's not all easy street, in fact none of it is. I have several days that I just want to crawl in bed and hide from everything, but overall, I am happy. I am learning. I am growing. I am loved.

Learning and growing,

T.