Saturday, February 28, 2015

What A Week

This has been one of those weeks…you know the weeks where your thoughts are challenged in a good way, you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, you've felt every emotion in the book and you still feel blessed? Yeah, me either…but it's just what this week has been! I'll give you a quick run-down: 49 hours at work, individual therapy, couples therapy, group therapy (LifeStar meeting), Book Club (at my house), everyday chores (grocery store, dinner, laundry etc), Church, head cold and NEDA Week (National Eating Disorder Awareness Week) which I supported because of my own eating disorder (compulsive overeating) and those are just the highlights. But as I reflect on this week, it has been GOOD. I'm exhausted physically, spiritually and emotionally, but I am counting my blessings and feeling content.

My therapist…I have NO words! She is just simply AMAZING! She can tap into what I need to think about and hear and do it while continuing to make me feel safe. I have no words to share the gratitude I have for this amazing woman. She is compassionate, kind, insightful, hopeful, encouraging, challenges me…and so many more words that I can't even list. She's just a woman like you and I, but she gets me. Well, at least it FEELS like she gets me. As I mentioned before I had some serious introspection to do about my "rescuing" behaviors. I have a LOOOOOOOOOONG way to go in that department, but for me being aware is a huge step. I have not been aware of a lot of those behaviors before. I wish I could see her more than every other week, there are weeks I could see her and it wouldn't be enough. She's not a superhero (I haven't seen her darting into any telephone booths, shooting spider webs out of her hands or freezing anyone with her eyes), but to me she feels like one. She is MY superhero this week. I'm sure there might be times that I don't get exactly what I want out of sessions, but this week, it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear, despite the fact that it challenged many of my thoughts and beliefs about myself. They were thoughts and beliefs that NEEDED to be challenged.

Couples therapy was great. I tried really hard not to dominate the session (yes I am THAT wife…the one that NEVER shuts-up…working on that). We both talked. We both listened. Our therapist facilitated a great conversation. It was peaceful. We connected. It helped forward our healing.

LifeStar meeting. That's it. Just LifeStar.

Book Club is my favorite non-recovery activity. I love my book club friends and I love reading. I always joke "it's not about the book" because in reality, it's really about the friendship and chance to recharge. I do love reading though and it gives me a chance to read books that I otherwise wouldn't. I haven't finished a book club book in months and I am so glad that my friends forgive me for that. I was really embarrassed at first to not have read the book that I chose, but I let that go because, well life is busy and recovery is a time consuming job…so there's that.

My favorite part of this week was all the connection I had. I talked to my Mom about something important to both of us. I was able to connect with a few of my warrior women friends who are fighting this battle…I mean really connect! I was there for them to reach out to and they were there for me (love you Sway). I was able to connect with my daughter about boys and life. I was able to connect with my son and help him work through some fears. B and I had an entire day today of connection. I am soaking it all in, because I know this is not how every week will be…I just hope that the pattern holds and I get to connect more.

May this week bring connection for me and for you. My our Heavenly Father bless you and hold you.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Self Reflection is Painful

I went to see my therapist today. I love going to see her because she helps me gain so much insight. Today was no different, it was just a lot more painful than I expected it to be.

I am a rescuer through and through. I have been pretty much my entire life. This is something I am working on in all aspects of my life. Today my therapist asked me if I was rescuing others in group. I said "No" without hesitation. As we talked some more, she helped me realize that I was indeed rescuing during group (she probably already knew this for two reasons: a- she's a great therapist and seems to understand me and, b- they have staff meeting and are able to discuss how things are going in group with each other so it is probably some insight from my group leader). It struck a nerve. I don't want to be "that" person. The one that can see so clearly see (she thinks) what others need and talk as if they have all their crap together when in fact they haven't even scratched the surface of what is underneath all their own trauma. Ugh! I am that person though.

What really hit a nerve was when she tapped into the very root of all my insecurities. My absolute need to belong. We all need to feel like we belong somewhere. My need to belong isn't any more or less prominent than anyone else, we all have the need to feel like we belong. What is pathological about my need to belong is the way I go about helping myself feel like I belong. I feel like if people don't "need" me then I don't belong with them. I fuel this feeling of being needed by rescuing. If I make myself feel invaluable and needed then I belong there, because they won't be able to get along without me.

I can name you a multiple examples of this in my everyday life, but I honestly didn't see that I was doing it in group. I feel a little more broken about that. I feel like that was my safe place to just be me, but apparently I'm the one holding myself back from being free to be me. I'm the one who won't let my guard down. It hurts to be self reflective. It's a painful process. Especially when I'm not sure how to go about correcting what I didn't realize I was doing.

I think what really zinged my vulnerability nerve today was when my therapist asked me a question I should be asking myself, "Who am I if I'm not rescuing? What is my worth?" I had to look at her and tell her that I honestly don't know. Who would I be today if I wasn't "needed" by anyone? What value would I have to myself? I really, truly don't know the answer to that question. I need to be able to figure that out. I can feel the growing pains coming and they are already starting to hurt.

Please keep a prayer in your heart, if you can, that I will learn to be more honest with myself and find some reflection back of what I am really worth. A more clear reflection of where my value really lies.



Monday, February 23, 2015

What Would You Want To Share?

I have a list of things I would want to share with others about Betrayal Trauma and Sex Addiction. You can see some of them here, here and here. Actually I have A LOT of things to share, but I want to know what you would want shared. If you had an opportunity to speak to a group of your ecclesiastical leaders what would you want them to know?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grief, Peace and Gratitude for The Plan

This has been one very long and emotionally taxing week…but it was also a week of peace. It seems odd to me that both can coexist so easily, but they did for me this week. Remember my last post? I was so angry and didn't seem to be able to let go of that anger. That's not the case today, the anger is gone and peace has taken it's place.

I was truly blessed to be able to grow up in the same house and with the same friends until I left home. To this day, those friends are some of my closest. I love these friends as if they were blood. This week I grieve with one of those friends. Her husband finally succumbed to the cancer that has been plaguing him for the last four years. My heart aches because this amazingly strong woman has to raise her children alone without her husband at her side. He has been at her side and making the most of the time he had. He had his faults just like anyone else, but he was there, active in his family life and being a companion to my friend.

He fought with all he had to beat the cancer, and he maintained the upper hand throughout most of that fight. He didn't let his diagnosis and prognosis rule his life, he just simply fought and lived the best way he knew how. He fought! That's what hit me so hard at the funeral. How hard he fought. It hit me right then that it was no different than what I want of my husband…for him to fight. I want B. to fight for our family because he does have a choice and he can use every weapon available to him to FIGHT! What was strange though was that I wasn't angry or sad about my situation when I thought that, it just was. It actually gave me a measure of peace and understanding to have an example of what fighting looks like.

The funeral was so incredibly challenging but at the same time there was such a feeling of celebration of my friend's life. He was truly a warrior in every sense of the word. I am so truly blessed to believe that there is a plan that will allow my sweet friend and her warrior husband to be reunited and live as man and wife eternally. It is often the only measure of peace that I can find surrounding death. The peace of knowing that life doesn't end here but continues on.

I also got to spend three days with my sister recharging my self-care batteries. It was exactly what I needed. I got to be there to love and support my friend and I got to recharge at the same time. It helped me find a measure of peace and perspective that has been lacking from my life for a while.

I also, unfortunately, brought a nasty virus home with me and I physically feel miserable. B. thought I was mad at him tonight because I came in and went straight to the bedroom to lie down. I reassured him that I wasn't angry just exhausted and feeling miserable. It was nice to be able to communicate that to him and clear the air so tension didn't grow from the unexpressed emotions. We're working on that communication thing!

I am still aching for my friend and I know she has many hard roads ahead. I am so blessed that I get to travel some of them with her. She is truly a strong and inspirational woman. I love you my friend! Thank you for letting me be there with you in your grief.

Finding peace in The Plan,


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Anger Is A Girl's Best Friend

I am angry today…frankly I've been angry all week. There are some HUGE things going on in my life right now (outside of the addiction and trauma)…at least they feel HUGE to me. I really have no emotional reserve right now and I have been snappy and peevish all week. I hate that I am so angry and that I have slipped back into that pattern. I need to find some healing again and use my tools to let go of the anger.  I can't change B, all I can change is me.  Sound like I'm trying to say it so I can make myself believe it? I am a little bit. I just want to shake B and say "Wake the hell up and SEE me!" I know it won't do any good, especially with the swear word thrown in there…but it's what I want to do at the current moment.

I really want to be SEEN, HEARD and CARED FOR. I really want to not have to carry this load alone. B texted me on Thursday and told me that he wants to be there for me through this and that's all I've ever wanted, for him to be present and help me through trials. I have been the one taking care of everyone for so long, I don't know how NOT to do that. I try to give him more of the load, but he drops it so often that I end up picking it up anyway. Most of the time it's easier to just carry it myself, but that turns me into a rescuer and leaves me feeling resentful and used.

I can barely keep my eyes open, but I wanted to get a few thoughts down.

Wishing I wasn't so angry,


Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding Some Humility

I hate it when I let my trauma get the best of me…but I have certainly done that a lot lately. Tonight I made some strides in recognizing it though.

I came home tonight after a very long and taxing day at work and just snapped…at everyone…about everything. I tried to talk to B. about it, but it didn't go well because I didn't recognize my trigger and name it for what it was, so I reacted instead to it instead of coping with it.

I realized that when I come in the door from work if B. is looking at his phone or his computer, then I get triggered. That was the case tonight, only I didn't recognize the trigger. Instead I got mad and tried to bully everyone into doing what I thought they should be doing. Then when I tried to talk to B. I went into persecutor mode and he went to victim. It wasn't nice or pretty. I don't know what finally got through to me, but I realized that I was triggered and reacting to that trigger. It was a lightbulb moment for me (the kind I like) and I was able to be able to name it and start to draw on some tools to deal with it.

I eventually apologized to B. for reacting out of fear and lashing out in anger. I truly am sorry for acting that way. I don't like being that way. In fact I hate it.

I hope that now I have named the trigger that I will be able to better cope with it and work through it instead of reacting to it. We have a long way to go together and I genuinely hope that one day we will heal together as a couple. For today, I am grateful for one more piece in the puzzle that is my recovery.

I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for the Atonement and the chance to be forgiven. I am so thankful for the ability to converse with him through prayer and to find a measure of comfort and peace. I don't like that I have to find humility by acknowledging my weakness, but I am grateful none-the-less for that humility. I love learning and growing no matter how painful it is. I love that I am getting the chance to be the best me that I can be.

A little more humble,


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Scary Things

Today was a day of doing scary things…well scary to me in that it required vulnerability greater than I felt I was up to. Heavenly Father knew I could do it…but I had to be kicked pretty hard to get me there.

I'll start off by saying, I'm not generally shy about sharing my testimony (my faith, belief and knowledge of the truths I believe in for those of you out there that have either never heard of or understood that term before). Today was Fast Sunday (a day every month where we fast in order to bring ourselves closer to Heavenly Father and then we are able to share our testimony during our services), but I wasn't going to share my testimony as I have shared it a lot lately and our ward is huge so I felt someone else needed the time. However, during the Sacrament I KNEW I had to get up, and not only did I have to get up but He had specific things I needed to bear witness of. I was the first one up and my testimony was super short, but it was exactly what He knew I needed to say.

I wrote in my journal as soon as I sat down, and I would like to share that with you here.

"Tender mercies of the Lord surround me. I don't know how I would've made it through with out those tender mercies. He KNOWS me, He LOVES me, He GUIDES me and He is AVAILABLE to me. He has placed people in my life that I never would've otherwise met. These amazing women have taught me through example how to have faith and hope. These women have supported me and have given me the opportunity to support them. They have cried with me and have let me grieve with them. They have let me help hold their heartache and they have helped hold mine.

I have been given the opportunity to share my story so that someone else will know that they are not alone. They don't have to suffer in silence because there are others that understand and won't judge.

I won't say that I am grateful for my trial but I do acknowledge that I probably would not have found the strength I have in my faith without these trials. I am very grateful for the strength I have received. My faith and testimony are stronger than I can remember them being in a long, long time. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know he cherishes me. He strengthens me. He answers my prayers. He blesses me beyond measure. I am loved."

My heart is just overflowing with the knowledge that I am loved by my Lord and that He watches out for me. I am blessed beyond measure with the outpouring of the love He has for me. A friend described His love as being tangible during an impossible situation today. That is exactly how I felt today, His hand was tangible in my life today.

The second scary thing He prompted me to do today was to be vulnerable to one of my favorite people in my ward. She is someone I truly admire. I shared a post from my blog with here back in the first part of December and had never heard from her. I felt the overwhelming nudge to ask her if she had seen it. She has and she hadn't responded because she didn't know how to say what she wanted to. I still don't know why I was prompted to share it with her in the first place, but we are going to dinner this week to talk. I am nervous, excited and scared all at once. It is so scary to just simply own my story for what it is and not carry that shame anymore…but I feel a tiny bit lighter each time I do.

My eyes won't stay open any longer tonight, but I have more great things to share about, so hopefully I will remember to tell you about them later.

Being brave,


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Irrational Thinking

I would be absolutely lying through my teeth to you if I told you that B's addiction hasn't affected my self-image and thinking patterns. Don't get me wrong, it's not the only source of my negative self-image but it has certainly contributed to it. Part of that negativity is reflected in my thoughts. I sometimes have very irrational and negative thoughts.

I had a bit of an a-ha moment about this yesterday that I want to share. My best friend lives about four hours away from us. We have been separated for about 6 1/2 years. We each have family and reasons to visit in each other's cities, so we get to see each other a few times a year. She came to town this weekend for a family event, so we tried to coordinate time to see each other.

It turns out the only time we could make it work was at 6:45 on Saturday morning. That is a completely unreasonable time to have to be up and about on a Saturday, but if it was the only chance I had to see her then I'd take it. 

As I was driving to meet her, the thought popped into my head, "She must have something bad to tell me. Why else would she be willing to get up so early on Saturday to see me?"

As soon as it appeared I combated it with, "Well of COURSE she is willing to get up to see you, she's your best friend!" 

I shared this with her while we were walking and visiting and she immediately put her arm around me and assured me that my second thought was the valid one and that the first one was silly. I already knew that this was what she would say, because well, she gets me and I get her. This is why she is one of my "safe people" and I know no matter what she'll still love me.

My a-ha moment came when I realized how destructive my thoughts have been in the past and how much my thinking is changing. I have a great deal of work to do still on my thinking, but overall it has improved. 

I used to constantly think things like, "If I was (insert any perceived desirable trait here: skinnier, prettier, better in bed, kept the house cleaner, etc.) then B wouldn't need porn." That is categorically untrue! I FINALLY believe that. It wouldn't matter what I looked like, what I was willing to do or how clean the house was, he would STILL have looked at porn and masterbated. His addiction and acting out is NOT my fault and I DID NOT cause it! 

I FINALLY BELIEVE THAT I AM ENOUGH! Will someone remind me occasionally though? I'm sure that I will still slip into that mode at times where I think that I can do something to make B change. 

If you are struggling with similar irrational negative thoughts, let me tell you right now that I know how you feel. I also know that YOU ARE ENOUGH! Your husband's addiction has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with your worth as a person. I read a quote the other day and I'm sorry I can't remember who said it or the exact words, but it was something to the effect of, "Your worth does not decrease because of anthers inability to see it." It is absolutely true. You are not at fault for your husband's addiction. You are enough!!!

Thinking more clearly,