Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Addict

I told you to remind me to tell you about the addict yesterday. I decided to write this to be published today so you wouldn't have to remind me. I didn't want to publish it yesterday, because two posts was bad enough,  but three seemed over-the-top. I know I am writing to help in my own healing and by writing this tonight it is accomplishing that. I also hope that something I write might be used to help another person. To have that wish happen, I can't bury you in posts.

Two weeks ago in LifeStar we had a guest couple come speak. The talked about their recovery journey. I will paraphrase what the wife said because it was so powerful to me. She called the person that has this addiction "His Addict" as in a separate being from her husband. She said it really helps her separate the addiction from her husband as the two separate beings that they are. She also said she has a healthy respect for that being and the power it has. It really hit me. 

For so long I have seen B as inseparable form his addiction. It was part of the hopelessness I lived with. He would forever have this addiction whether he was actively living in it or not. I still believe that but with a caveat. I believe that this addiction is a separate being from my husband, I frequently have to remind myself of this fact, but I do believe it. That's the caveat. While B will always have to live with The Addict, it is separate from him and the man he is becoming. 

B loves to learn about the science and effects of pornography addiction. It helps him. What helps me is recognizing The Addict and his pull on B. Like the wife that spoke to us said she has a healthy respect for that being, so do I. I respect the amount of power that being holds. I respect the amount of influence that being holds. I also fear the pull of that being some days. I REFUSE to live in fear anymore!

In separating The Addict from B in my mind and in my heart, it allows further healing to take place. Healing is good. Healing is what I seek after. Healing is what my heart and soul need.



Friday, November 28, 2014

I Hate The Cycle

Post overload, sorry, but I had to write twice today.

I am diligently working on separating B from his addiction in my mind and heart. Some days this is a much easier thing to do than others. I think it comes down to the damn cycle (pardon the language, but today that's the only way I can describe it). The addiction/shame cycle. It's like he does really well with connecting and being vulnerable for a few days then for some reason he slips back into addict mode. Me. Me. Me. 

In LifeStar and through other recovery resources I have learned that there is definitely a pattern to addiction or a cycle as it's usually called. This pattern can vary in length but is usually predictable in the phases. There can also be cycles within the cycle where the addict can get caught in a revolving door between two or more phases. The root of the cycle is shame, always and forever, shame. That is the root of this entire addiction, shame and not having a healthy way to process it. 

I'm not talking about guilt here, not even healthy shame that prompts you to action. I am talking the shame someone incorporates into their very being. Guilt/healthy shame tells someone that they have done something bad, whereas shame tells them they ARE bad. Guilt/healthy same says I have done something hurtful and shame tells them that they ARE a hurtful person. You get the point, shame is TOXIC to a person's mental health and it is TOXIC to those around them because it leads to unhealthy coping and more pain and shame.

B seems to be caught in a short cycle right now…sometimes only hours long. Almost every day, he works really hard to connect with me and the kids. He diligently works his recovery. He reaches out for support. He brings his shame into the light and exposes it, working through it to motivate positive changes in himself. I LOVE this. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these changes. I am learning things about B that I wish I had known all along. Things that frighten him or make him angry. Things that bring him joy. His fears as well as his wishes, hopes and dreams. I am learning how to want to fall in love with that man. The one that is vulnerable and shame resilient. The problem? The damn cycle gets him every.single.time. 

I am trying to hope. I am trying to have faith. I am trying to use my boundaries in healthy ways to disconnect myself from this cycle. Some days, I do a FANTASTIC job of this. Disconnecting in a healthy and safe way. Others, not so much. Yesterday and today are stellar examples of the latter. 

Thanksgiving Day started out great. We really had a wonderful morning. As the day progressed however, I could see the disconnect happening. I could see the cycle starting and the addict coming out (remind me later to tell you about "the addict"). I even pointed it out to B, or tried to anyway. At first, I did a good job of just disconnecting from the behavior, but as the day wore on I got more and more impatient and just plain sick-and-tired of it. The final straw for me was when B got up from the table, after our daughter worked for a very long time to prepare an amazing dinner for us, to go "work" on a map he was making for himself to use for rockhounding. He had inhaled his food. He was upset that I wouldn't "let" him bury himself in his phone at the table. He left the table and turned his back to us to hide in the virtual world. 

We talked about it last night at our checkin. He is remorseful every night when it happens. He is even conscious some of the time and does it intentionally. I know this. He knows this. I also know and understand that he does feel remorse and regret at not being able to connect. I have felt the sincerity of his words. I really want to let him off the hook and feel like he is going to try anew the next day. He does, usually anyway, for a while. Then it's back to the same ole, same ole...words, excuses and disconnection.

Today was pretty much constant static all day. He did spend some time with us but it was half-hearted at best. It is discouraging when days like this pop up. I know I shouldn't let one or two days prove to be stumbling blocks in my own recovery. For the most part I don't. I just LOVE being with the "new" connected man that I am married to and I wish it was him that was around most of the time instead of the "old" disconnected one. 

I know recovery takes time. I know he's never going to be perfect. I don't expect perfection. I don't even expect him not to have a bad day where the addict slips in. What do I expect? I expect consistent effort on his part. I expect continuous work on recovery I expect him to reach out when he feels like it's all too much. That's what I expect. 

Now that it is out there. Now that I have recorded my feelings, I can process and move on. I can look towards tomorrow with hope again. 

Thank you,


In Case of Emergency

I have NEVER highlighted in a book that wasn't specifically designed for such a purpose (ie. text book, recovery manual, etc.). I am however, currently reading a book that I couldn't keep from highlighting. It looks like a novel, it even reads like a novel (thanks to the author's amazingly real writing style), but it is in fact not a novel, it is an autobiography. I have avoided reading much non-fiction for years because reading was my escape. Lately though, I haven't really read anything but non-fiction, mostly consisting of recovery books. 

Now that you are practically drooling to find out what this fascinating piece of literature is, I'll won't keep you in suspense anymore. It is called Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life by Glennon Doyle Melton who authors the blog Momastry. This amazingly flawed woman is as real as it gets. She is funny, insightful, irreverent in a reverent way, respects and honors God, she's a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend an addict in recovery and for me she is a beacon of hope. 

She has some of the most insightful stories out there and they are told in her witty and irreverent way while she lays herself out there for all to see. She feels it is her calling to share her story and the lessons she is learning along the way and I, for one, wholeheartedly agree. This woman was CALLED to be a storyteller and hope bringer.

Let me describe what reading this book is like. It is such a feast of words that you want to devour it as fast as you possibly can. At the same time it is like a gourmet feast that you know will be much more enjoyable when taken slowly and in pieces. It's almost agonizing to make myself read slowly and absorb what she is sharing. One time I was reading on a day I didn't have my highlighter with me and there was so much good stuff in the two chapters that I read that I had to go back and reread them and highlight them the next time I read. If you are only going to read one recovery book out there it would be hard for me to pick which to tell you, but this is one I don't think you can go wrong with (she does use some swear words, just a disclosure for you).

The most recent chapter I read was called In Case of Emergency and started out talking about how she and her sister are each other's In Case of Emergency designee. This chapter is about how she had to watch the sister she idolizes go through an incredibly hard struggle. It was such a powerful chapter for me to read. I don't even know how to sum up how it made me feel, It just spoke to me. Let me share some of my favorite lines from the chapter:

"Until then, I had only learned this about grace: sometimes, like in my case, you get blessed for no reason. You get something wonderful that you don't deserve. But on that day, I learned that the flip side is also true: sometimes you get screwed for no reason. You get something awful that you never, ever deserved…YOU CANNOT EARN YOURSELF AN EASY LIFE OR EVEN A FAIR ONE. "(emphasis added).

Glennon also had this to say about sitting with someone that is grieving: 

"When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it. Don't' try to take it away. Forgive yourself for not having that power. Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try and snatch from each other. They're sacred. They are part of each person's journey. All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone. That's the one fear you can alleviate. Offer your In Case of Emergency your presence, your love, yourself, so she'll understand that no matter how dark it gets, she's not walking alone. that is always enough to offer…Grief is not something to be fixed. It's something to be borne, together. And when the time is right, there is always something that is born from it…Hope is a door each one must open for herself."

For me that last line bears repeating: HOPE IS A DOOR EACH ONE MUST OPEN FOR HERSELF! 

For the first time since I found out about B's addiction, I'm starting to get it. My recovery is up to me. My recovery is separate from B's recovery. I need to recover. I have to open that door to the hope that is promised me from my Heavenly Father through His son, Jesus Christ. It is up to me to find my own way to open the door and hope!

Savoring this book,


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Recovery Metaphor

I'm not sure if I have mentioned before that we have been attending Phase I of LifeStar, in case I haven't, we are. We are in week five. Tonight was the second week that we have had a couple come and speak to us about their recovery. It is always very powerful to hear others stories and about their recovery. Tonight though, the wife shared a metaphor with us in response to my question, and it was such a great picture for me that I had to share it with you.

My question for her was about how she avoids comparing her recovery to someone else's. This is because of the guilt I sometimes (though less frequently now) have because my husband "just" has a porn addiction and hasn't had an actual affair. I know, I know, intellectually at least, I know, that  trauma is trauma no matter what…but emotionally it is still hard for me not to feel like I shouldn't feel as devastated as I do. So, her analogy was this (and it was actually great because she talked about comparing her recovery to her husband's). I am paraphrasing, so the wording isn't exact, but the meaning will still be the same.

Imagine, if you will, that you are a fawn in a glade, a beautiful meadow. Out of nowhere you are shot by a hunter. There you are bleeding out on the ground, you need help. Is that hunter able to provide you with the support you need to stop bleeding and start to heal? Nope! He is not equipped to help you when he is the one that inflicted the harm.

In other words, the hunter has to focus on the recovery from being the one to shoot you (and for why he needed to hunt in the first place) and you have to recover from being shot! His recovery is his own and your recovery is your own! Holy crap! That was a pretty great visual for me! 

The therapist running our group went on to use the metaphor to elaborate on comparing our own pain and trauma to that of another betrayed wife (again paraphrased). He said, you've been shot, period. You're going to the hospital. I don't care if you were "just" shot with a 22 gauge shell, a 9 mm handgun, a AK47…being shot is being shot. Everyone is going to feel the pain and be wounded regardless of the weapon used to do the wounding. 

That was the perfect way to describe it to me. It just resonated with me. It is ok for me to feel angry, hurt, betrayed, sad and traumatized. These things are my right to feel as the wounded fawn. I have been shot and I have been traumatized because of it! I get it. I can't promise I won't have to remember this metaphor, sometimes on a daily basis, but now I have it to remember. Now I have something that makes sense to me about my trauma. I just have to say it again…I've been shot.

We do not have to justify our pain! 

Wounded but healing,


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Finally…What I've Been Waiting 17 Years For

This is the continuation of this post, so if you haven't read that one I would recommend reading it first.

B and I talked and talked, and I cried a lot, and he cried a little. We talked and cried some more, for about three hours. It was EXHAUSTING both physically and emotionally. It started out with both of us trying to get the other to see our point of view. I'm really not sure what happened to change the conversation…well by this point it was more of a very sincere monologue on my part. 

This frequently happens, I talk and talk and talk (I am working on this) and he retreats and retreats and retreats (he is working on this). This time something I said hit it's mark. I'm not sure what. I'm not sure when. But I do know how…his heart was softened by our Heavenly Father. That is the only explanation I have. I have waited seventeen years for him to realize that what he has put me through and what I have felt (or not allowed myself to feel as the case has been for many years) has been excruciatingly painful for me.  It's like he finally understood a little bit. The best part is the end of the conversation that pretty much left me speechless…

HE APOLOGIZED!!! Humbly, sincerely (I could feel the sincerity) and from his heart apologized for all the pain he has caused me. Holy shit! Ok sorry for that, but it was a moment I thought I would never see. It meant more to me than I can even describe. My husband, who has only thought of himself and what he needed for as long as I can remember, finally had a little bit of empathy for me. I am still in awe of the humility he showed. It really was a moment I want to cherish and reflect on because I know we will have many more rough patches ahead. 

In awe,


I Was Ready…Until I Wasn't

This has been a week of up, down and around. A week of tears, yelling, tears, shame, tears, drama, tears and pain. It's also been a week of peace, tears, healing, tears, humility, tears, accountability, tears, hope and tears. In case you didn't catch on there has been a lot of crying happening around here this week. Most of it by me, but some by B as well.

This might come out a bit disjointed and it might be a long post but I really want to be able to look back at this week later and learn from it and remember the positives of it.

Let me preface this by saying that for weeks B has been working with his therapist to prepare his disclosure to me. This is a formal written accountability and timeline of his addiction. Including time, durations and frequency as best as he can remember them. He will then present it to me in a session with his therapist (I chose his therapist, because he has worked with both of us, and honestly to me my therapist is my safe place and I didn't want disclosure to happen in her office). He has either not been adequately prepared for this or he has been in denial about what  huge impact this is going to have for me. As you read the story that follows you will understand why I say that.

B let me know at the end of the week last week that he was ready to give disclosure and we scheduled it for next Wednesday afternoon. I was ready, until I wasn't. The more I thought about it the more I realized that I didn't want disclosure the day before Thanksgiving. I didn't want to be an emotional mess for my kids that weekend and I didn't want every Thanksgiving to be tainted by the reminder of disclosure. I moved the appointment to the next Thursday. He started to worry when he found out that disclosure was going to happen in his therapists office because he thought that he'd just be able to give it to me at home. Then when I moved the appointment he was even more worried because he didn't understand why I thought it wasn't a great idea to have it around Thanksgiving.

When I saw my therapist early this week and let her know disclosure was scheduled she and I talked about my safety plan. I had already taken that day off work and was planning to bring separate cars to the appointment. She told me that it is standard to have the husband find somewhere else (that is a safe place for me to have him be) to stay until I invite him back home. She said I should also probably have a support person or two meet me at the therapists office to be my support afterwards. She also wanted to make sure I had my "first aid kit" ready for use and a couple of different plans depending on whether I wanted to be alone or whether I wanted support around me. She advised that I should have a plan for my kids as well. This all surprised me a bit and made me reconsider whether I could be ready by the week after Thanksgiving. I decided that because of personal and work commitments that I couldn't get out of for that week I would put it off one more week. I rescheduled it for the afternoon of December 12th and it is currently still scheduled for then.

After my appointment I called to tell B about what my therapist had told me and I gave him a couple of suggestions as to where he could stay. I could tell he was starting to withdraw and shut down when he told me we would talk about it later, I could just hear it in his voice. I started to get a bit worried as well, it seemed logistically like it was going to take a lot of work.

When I got home I could tell he was upset and we started to talk about what we were going to do. He went into victim mode and started talking about how hard it was going to be for him to share all this with me and how he is going to need support and how he wasn't going to be able to take care of the kids. This set me off because he just wasn't "getting" how he has known about these behaviors for thirty years and he has been working for weeks on getting them written which has given him time to process them some. For me though, it's going to be thirty years of addiction condensed down to an hour and while I'm not expecting any huge surprises, some of it is going to be very painful to hear. I was given the chance to ask any questions I wanted and I gave him some hard questions to answer. They will be hard for him to answer if the answers are yes and they are going to be hard for me to hear if the answers are yes as well. The other element that I am really struggling with is wondering if this is truly a full disclosure because of his own confessions to me last week. When I confronted him about his lying last week, I asked him if he had talked to his therapist about the behaviors and the lying, he said he hadn't. Then I asked him if he had planned to include it in his disclosure and he admitted that he hadn't planned to do that either. When I asked him how I was supposed to trust that it was a full disclosure when I knew already he had planned to withhold information from it, he didn't have any good answer other than that I just am. My worry was further antagonized by the fact that he reacted so poorly when confronted with the facts of how difficult this is going to be for me. I realize that honesty is hard for him because he has lied for so long. I realize that it is shame based. Just because I understand those things doesn't make it hurt any less.

We didn't get much resolved other than more hurt. I was walking out of the room and he quietly and humbly admitted that he was scared. I was so upset that I responded in one of the worst ways I could to his sincere admission. I said "Maybe you should be scared. Maybe if you had been more scared the last seventeen years we wouldn't be here now." I promptly left the room as we had to get ready to go to Pack Meeting for my son.

I took some deep breaths and decided I needed to distance myself emotionally or I was just going to keep being hurt and trying to hurt him back. He texted me at pack meeting emphasizing how hard disclosure is going to be for him and how hurt he was…something like that. I don't want to go back and read them because it is still painful. I texted him back an explanation I had given him and sent him a link to this post on A Wife Redeemed. That night I honestly don't remember if we talked anymore at all, I don't think we did more than what was absolutely necessary of two people living in the same space.

The next morning he got out of the shower and came back to bed because he wanted to snuggle me so he could be reassured and be loved. I barely woke up, but I was awake enough to realize that that was probably what he wanted. I was still in self protection mode and just went back to sleep. I was getting up just as he was leaving and I got a text from him saying how hurt he was. He was still in victim mode and wanting to find his validation of self worth from me. 

 Rejection is a huge trigger for him and he really has no idea how to deal with it. He feels that when I distance myself from him and enforce my boundaries that I am rejecting him. In actuality I am protecting myself from his addict behaviors and not from him. It's going to be a struggle to find ways to work through that. I digress.

Throughout the morning we had a text conversation because we were both at work. I didn't want to reread these texts because some of them were so hurtful, but I did for the sake of accuracy (remember I want to learn and grow from this, so it needs to be truthful). He basically said that he was hurting and that he wanted a date with me that night so we could talk. I told him okay but he needed to plan it because he hadn't liked the idea I had come up with (which was to see The 100 Foot Journey). The conversation kept on in that vein of me enforcing my boundary and speaking plainly and him heaping blame on me for him not feeling loved. The following was the pinnacle of the conversation on both sides:

B - "I'm not sure how I am going to make it through the rest of the day. You are being so cold to me. I just need a little love. Stop being so mean."

T - "I am really trying. I have no more fight left in me for this conversation. You will need to reach out to someone else. I have given you options for when I will be able to talk to you, but I have a lot of work to do if I ever want to come home tonight and I can't keep having this conversation if I'm going to get that done. Right now I'm sitting on a rock looking at the river crying. I need to be able to focus so I can get back to work and get done so we can talk. I won't be responding to anymore texts for now. Please don't miss our son's parent teacher conference because if you do it's not me you will be hurting it is him."

B - "I didn't mean to hurt you."

I will admit this text absolutely baffled me. Really!?! How did you think I would react. Of course I was hurt and upset. It took me until about 11:00 in the morning to finally be able to focus on work and get something done.

I extended an olive branch in the hopes of getting some actually meaningful conversation happening. I made arrangements for our son to go to a movie with a friend and his mom. Our daughter was going to hang out at a friend's house. I stopped and picked up what he wanted for dinner. I felt like I was the one being left hung out to dry and yet I consciously chose to try and reach out to him. It was very difficult and I questioned whether I was just enabling his broken brain behavior (ha! BBB - broken brain behavior). In the end, I am very glad I did.

This next part deserves it's own post…so this story is to be continued...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Boundaries Stink

Ok, well boundaries themselves don't stink…but having to enforce them does. I'm not trying to out B. here, but this post has been swimming around in my head for a couple of days now. I needed some distance and perspective before I wrote it though. I'm still cycling through my emotions…anger, hurt, forgiveness (ok not so much an emotion), apathy and peace. This is the first time I have really honestly and effectively enforced a boundary since I clarified them for myself and B. It was a painful thing to do actually, I didn't realize it was going to hurt so much to have to enforce them. 

If you want to know what my (pretty detailed) boundaries are you can find them on the second tab across the top under the header of the blog, or by clicking here. I share them here and welcome questions or comments with the caution that these are for my own feeling of safety and to help to begin to foster trust between B and I. These are not meant as a judgement of B or as a means of controlling him. They are my way of letting him know what he needs to do in order to earn my trust back. The burden of trustworthiness is on him. 

I haven't been checking history on B's phone for a while now. I haven't wanted to feel like the police. I felt like he was working hard on recovery most of the time, although it seems that the later  in the week it gets the harder time he has with working recovery and not disconnecting. We have been doing checkins using vowels for the last couple of weeks and I thought it was going well. Lately, though, when he starts to disconnect I felt like he was slipping back into old behaviors. He looked me right in the eye and told me that he was doing well. He has also been working on full disclosure for me, so that I can move on in healing in our relationship (which is separate from my own personal recovery). I still felt that tiny nagging that something was off. I couldn't pinpoint it specifically and am new to trusting my gut where this is concerned (after so many years of being lied to, I am having to relearn how to trust my own feelings and promptings). He has been showing so many signs improvement that it was crazy making that I was feeling this nagging discomfort.

Friday night I went out with a couple of girlfriends to have some "me" time. It was a lot of fun and just what I needed for some clarity. When I got home at almost 11:00 p.m. B was asleep and didn't know if our daughter was home yet from seeing a play with her friends. That in and of itself triggered me, he is the parent at home, shouldn't he know where his teenager is at almost 11:00 p.m. (she was home). I also found out that instead of interacting with our preteen son and spending some time with him, he had let him play Minecraft for hours while I was gone. Our son is showing addictive behaviors as far as playing Minecraft goes and we have been working with him to find other ways to combat boredom and frustration than zoning out with a computer game. So that triggered me. 

I was already on edge emotionally and he just basically turned over and went back to sleep. I was trying to wind down for the night when a very strong prompting came to check his phone. There it was, pornographic pictures of women on Facebook. It's as if that makes it ok because he was just looking at profile pictures on Facebook and not actual porn sites. From what I found in his history he had been doing this for a two to three days but from his own disclosure it had actually been two weeks. I was furious, hurt and feeling betrayed. HE LIED TO ME!  AGAIN! I was so hurt and upset, that even though it was almost 2:00 a.m. I woke him up and made him go sleep on the couch. I enforced a boundary! I did it! It was actually really painful to do, I don't want to disconnect emotionally and physically from B, but for my own feelings of trust and safety I had to. The next day our schedules were so opposite that we didn't see each other until about 8:00 p.m. I took time in the morning to write him a four page letter. I wrote him a letter because I knew we wouldn't have a chance to talk early in the day and I can often more clearly articulate what I want to say when I write it down. It was thoughtful and informative without being shaming or malicious. I just told him how I felt he had broken my boundaries and what consequences I was going to enforce (there were more than just that middle of the night trip to the couch). It was very painful and hard to do, like I said, but it helped me feel safe and helped him see that I expect him to earn back my trust, it's not just going to be handed to him. 

He explained to me that he felt that I was doing so well in my recovery and he didn't want to hinder that. Really? And LYING TO ME wasn't going to hinder my healing? Actually, I discovered, and explained to B that it WON'T affect my personal recovery, but it greatly affects our recovery as a couple. I also told him that it was completely and totally unacceptable to hide, minimize or lie about any slips. Honestly, there is to be no lying about anything. I also told him that I fully expect him to have slips, especially this early in recovery. I am a skeptic after all these years, that he will ever be able to be in full recovery, but I was starting to have hope. I was robbed of that hope this weekend. It doesn't mean that I am giving him permission to have a slip or that I am ok with it. I'm not. I WILL enforce my boundary around pornography in my home if he does slip, but his actions this weekend crossed of my boundaries. It was so painful that I wanted to yell and scream and hit things (most likely not things but him). I am pleased with how I handled the situation though, for the most part, but it was still incredibly hard and painful to enforce my boundaries. I think he finally gets that I mean business and that my individual recovery is separate from our recovery as a couple. 

We have made progress, we could talk about it. That's big progress for us and that has not been undone. But even if we can openly talk about it, it still hurts that it happened. I EXPECT there will be more slips in our future, but I HOPE that there aren't. More than anything he owes me honesty, no matter how painful the truth is.

Made a little safer through my boundaries,


Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I Find Funny and a Parenting Lesson

This post would probably be more appropriately titled, what I don't find funny…anymore. It was like a bucket of ice water thrown at me to realize what I had exposed my daughter to today. In the past my friends and I have laughed ourselves into tears reading the Facebook posts with the autocorrected texts gone wrong. I mean can't catch your breath laughing at them. Of course they only make Facebook because they are dirty or sexual autocorrects.

Today my friend tagged me in one of those posts so I would see it. I allowed it on my timeline without even thinking about it. As I was reading it later of course I started to notice that I didn't find them as funny as I used to. In fact I am ashamed that I even finished reading them. As I was about half way through them, my sixteen year old daughter sent me a screenshot of part of the post asking me why something was so funny (we were both in bed so we were texting each other). I told her that I didn't know but it was (I admittedly did find a couple of them funny…sad to say), but that she probably shouldn't read the rest because they were pretty bad. I wasn't paying attention and the message didn't go through. I realized about ten minutes later that it hadn't sent so I sent it then. Of course by that time she had read them. I know that I can't take responsibility for her reading them, she had a choice. But, I could have minimized the chance of her running across it by not allowing myself to be tagged and therefore allowing it on my timeline. Parenting lesson learned there.

It was interesting for me to note that my sense of humor has somewhat changed. I am a nurse and as such the human body is often the source of humor in my profession. It hasn't made me uncomfortable for a long time. Because I had numbed my emotions so much there were few stories/jokes I found uncomfortable. I love that I am starting to recognize and feel the warning signs that things might not be appropriate. It's going to mean that I won't be able to join in the laughter as much anymore, I'm okay with that. I have such caring friends at work that I know they won't make me feel bad and I will try not to make them feel bad. I hope I will even have the courage to speak up and ask that "dirty jokes" not be told around me. It will be a huge step because I don't like risking offending someone or being judged, but like I said I have amazing friends. It will be a good chance for me to practice vulnerability.

Not laughing,


Friday, November 14, 2014

Music Speaks To Me: Part 3

If you missed them, I talked about how music has been really speaking to me lately in this post and this one. It's been a really long time since I felt strong emotions when I hear a song. It used to be that nothing spoke to me the way music did. I felt happiness, sadness, hope, joy and even The Spirit more strongly through music than any other way. It was like there were hidden messages there just for me. It's been a long time since I've felt that, it was really wonderful to feel it again. 

This particular song struck me as I was watching the musical Les Miserables. I've heard this song hundreds of times probably, it's one of my absolute favorites from the musical. This time it was different, this time it spoke to me of the grief I have been feeling. I am mourning the years we have lost to this damn addiction. I am mourning the loss of dreams that have been stolen by this plague. I'll highlight the part that really stood out to me.

There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather!

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now, from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

I hope that I keep hearing the messages that I am meant to hear. I hope the music keeps speaking to me. I am not grieving this battle so much as I am grieving the years we have lost. Everyday I am working to overcome that grief and move to a place of acceptance and progress. I want to be able to rejoice in the future and move forward with faith. I am working on that.

Singing again,


Thursday, November 13, 2014

My Metaphorical Shelf

I realized this week that I have the ability to let things sit without obsessing over them or stuffing them down. It was liberating. I didn't even realize that was what I had done let alone that I had the power to do it. Let me tell you the story.

This has been an emotionally rough week for me. A lot going on, my did was in the hospital overnight and is hours away, LifeStar, a presentation to give, kid stuff at the school. I was very overwhelmed and emotionally on edge on Tuesday when this situation happened. In conversation with my husband we talked about his visit to his therapist (whom I know because we used to see him together) and he told me something that the therapist said that really hurt me. Later that night at LifeStar the same therapist said something to me that also upset me. I was surprised because he has never said or done ANYTHING remotely hurtful to me. He is one of the best sexual addiction therapists as far as I'm concerned. None the less, I was hurt. When we got home that night and had our checkin I told B about my feelings. I was still pretty upset by everything and this was just niggling at me. 

I asked B if he thought I was overreacting and I wanted an honest answer. He didn't want to hurt my feelings but he told me that he thought I probably was. I expressed to him that I was afraid of that and that I thought it was just me, because of how much care and concern the therapist has always shown us. I told him I was going to sit on this and think about it for a bit. I decided to reexamine it the next day and if my feelings were unchanged I'd wait another day and if I still felt the same way I'd decide how to address it.

What I realized today, when I was describing this to my own therapist, was that I had metaphorically put this situation on the shelf. The events were still there available to me, but they weren't front and center for me to obsess over or shoved to a dark corner to be ignored. I had essentially taken my hurt feelings and put them on the shelf to wait to be taken down twenty-four hours later. When I took them out the next day to process I realized that I didn't feel the same way and that I had indeed taken something internally that wasn't in fact intended to cause pain.

It was so freeing to be able to recognize that I had the control over my emotions and that in that moment they weren't controlling me. I didn't want to have negative feelings for my husband's therapist because of the amazing work he has done with both myself and my husband. I was able to stop and reexamine the situation after I had some distance from it. 

I'm honestly surprised that in that moment I had the where-with-all to stop and evaluate instead of reacting. I credit that entirely to my Heavenly Father and the fact that I have been seeking him out and listening for his guidance. He helped me to come up with a way to cope that was both beneficial and validating. I allowed myself the emotions without having them control me…I owned my story. 

I have feelings but I don't have to be controlled by them, it's liberating!

A little lighter today,


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


It has been a while since I have posted. I have been spending a lot of time doing recovery work. I have been working on a full disclosure with my therapist. I will soon have it ready to share with my wife. She is at a point where she needs this to make any further progress.

We started attending LifeStar a few weeks ago. I am learning some amazing things. I wish I could have learned them years ago. I would like to share a few of these things here. In later posts I plan to go more into depth about them. As I get further in recovery I would like to make this blog a place where I can share things that will help other addicts in their recovery.

Sex addiction (porn, masturbation, lust, etc.) is not about sex. It is about the inability to manage emotions. We all have pain and challenges we must face in life. An addict has learned that acting out on his addiction will help to numb the pain. The problem is that you can't selectively numb an emotion. When you numb the pain, you numb the joy, love, thankfulness, hope, and all the other emotions that lead to a happy life. This of course leads to more pain, and the cycle starts all over again.

The opposite of addiction is not abstinence, it is connection. From birth until death we all have an inherent need to connect with others. Sometimes connecting can be difficult. Shame makes us feel like we are not worthy to be loved. So we feel isolation. In an attempt to fill this void we turn to our addiction. Acting out seems like a safe way to connect. The porn isn't going to tell me that I am worthless. At least not while I am acting out. I can create a false sense of attachment by viewing porn. Sex is the most intimate way to connect. But when it is all over, the pain of knowing this is a false attachment makes me feel worse. This leads to more shame. Shame will eventually cause me to act out and the cycle continues.

This has completely changed my view of what recovery will look like. I used to think that I had to just learn how to abstain from all these acts. There are some addicts that can do this, however they have not fixed the underlying cause of their pain. They are not in recovery. I know see that my recovery will include creating healthy relationships with both men and women. This is what I have wanted all my life. I don't have any real friends. The few friends I have are more like good acquaintances. I am going to have to work hard to change this. I have already felt more at ease around others the past week. I feel like I am able to open up more. I feel like the wall I have built is beginning to crumble.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Music Speaks To Me - Part 2

Just a short while after "Brave" spoke to me, "Deamons" by Imagine Dragons came on the radio. Imagine Dragons is one of my all time favorite bands and I've always liked this song, but this time it was like it was being sung just for me. I have highlighted the words that jumped out at me and screamed "THIS IS WHAT ADDICTION FEELS LIKE!". It was like this is the demon we are battling and a little bit of what B sometimes feels like (as well as what I felt like when I have been in the thick of my compulsive eating addiction). 

Demons by Imagine Dragons

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold

When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale

I wanna hide the truth
I wanna shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

At the curtain’s call
It's the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don't wanna let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don't wanna hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it's what you make
I say it's up to fate
It's woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

I don't know what it was about Saturday but I was comforted greatly by music, not religious music, not even spiritual music. Just regular everyday mainstream music. It was awesome!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Music Speaks to Me - Part I

Music used to always touch me. I could hear a song and be touched to my core and pull out lyrics that said just what I was feeling. The last few years I have lost that. This last Saturday I heard the music again. It touched me. It healed a little piece of me. It helped put words to my struggle. 

The first song that made me pause, or more truthfully made me cry, was Brave by Sara Bareilles. I have loved this song since the first time I heard it. I have always wanted it to be my theme song for my daughter. I want her to embrace who she is. This time I heard words meant just for me. I have to share those words with you. (I have changed the words that just hit me to red and highlighted them in yellow). It's time I stop hiding and start fighting. It's time I have empathy for others around me that are fighting their own battles. It's time I speak up. I AM BRAVE!

Brave by Sara Bareilles

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up

Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue

Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I wanna see you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
See you be brave

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you

I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you
I just wanna see you