Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Cup Runneth Over

My Father in Heaven knows me and sees my trials. After the pummeling my spirit took over the last few weeks He knew I would need others. He has placed the most amazing people in my life. This week I was strengthened and uplifted by so many different people. Friends new and old, those I have met through recovery and those I have known for years. My group, my marriage counselor and my individual counselor have all played a vital role in helping boost me this week. My Bishop has been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He has to be the most kind and patient person I have met in a long time. I can only imagine how the weight of the trials in the ward weigh on him, but he never makes me feel like mine are any less important than anyone else's. I am truly blessed by the bounty of amazing people in my life. 

I have to give a special shout-out to two separate groups though, my LifeStar group and the local chapter of The Togetherness Project. Without these amazing women this week I would've been lost.

There are still a lot of things to work through and a long road to walk, but I am on my way again. I'm not dwelling on my problems but looking for solutions. Tonight I am grateful for the people in my life.

In gratitude,


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Shrapnel Wounds

It feels like target practice and I'm the target, or rather I'm being hit by shrapnel from the direct hits to the targets nearby (which keep moving). I feel like I could withstand a little bit of shrapnel, use my tools and take care of myself, but lately it feels like it has been coming at me too fast.

Remember this post where I talked about my childhood best friend losing her husband to cancer. That seems to have been the beginning of the shrapnel. I held up pretty good and was able to recuperate. Well the next round started with me stepping down as a manger at work. This is a GOOD thing for my family and for me, but it's still a change that takes getting used to, I still feel a bit lost. I know though that, I can do hard things.

The week after that they closed our physical office and set us up at home to work full-time (it didn't happen that fast, it's just when it was finalized). So now here I am, recuperating from shrapnel wounds, feeling a little lost and without some of my fellow warriors by my side. Ok deep breaths, I had a full week off after that for some R&R. I can do hard things.

When I came back to the battle (because right now that's what it feels like), I was more rested and healed and ready to work. I was less lost and had a permanent position in the field. I was ready. Then one of my dear sweet warrior sisters lost her preemie baby. This was her first baby and she was a miracle because she was growing next to a molar pregnancy. She lived a miraculous twenty days after being born at not quite twenty-four weeks gestation. On top of that, this warrior sister has to have chemotherapy to kill the molar cells that have spread to other parts of her body. My heart is breaking, but I can handle it, I'll just keep fighting, praying and keeping in touch with her. Fresh new shrapnel wounds, but I have other brave warrior sisters who know and love our miracle baby and her mommy as much as I do…we bind each others wounds and help each other survive to fight another day.

I was able to get a weekend pass after that battle to spend some time learning and growing at The Togetherness Project (I'll share more about that in another post).  I wanted to share that with you first, but alas, my wounds are too fresh right now to talk about the healing I received in the care of this amazing organization.

As I was driving home from this healing weekend the next bomb went off, this one the closest one yet. B. acted out while I was at Togetherness. I knew it in my heart on Saturday, but he confirmed it in a phone call on Sunday while I was driving home. I asked him to, I felt like I was going to arrive back to the battlefield too late to be given the intel and have any sort of debriefing when I got there that night. It was painful and hurt a lot, but I have a lot of tools to help me recover from this kind of shrapnel.

About half an hour later I received even more shrapnel wounds, this one was a direct hit though, so really not shrapnel but a bomb. One of my fellow soldiers that has been dispersed to other camps (aka. one of my coworkers that was set up to work at home when our office closed), called with some intel. One of my really good friends and fellow soldiers was killed in a car accident. I was speechless and if you know me well, you know that's pretty much next to impossible to do. I was heartbroken. This amazing woman was made for goodness. She loved with every fiber of her being and you knew she loved you no matter what. She was easy to talk to and had a heart of gold. She had her flaws, but you didn't focus on those because she was just too genuine and loving. I'm still a bit numb, the pain comes in bursts, but I have had to try to just let it out in increments otherwise it's just too much. 

That was Sunday, just three days ago. I'm having a much more difficult time healing from these last two wounds, especially the most recent. Then last night another bomb. Another direct hit. Due to some poor financial decisions and follow-through on both mine and B's part, they started foreclosure proceedings on our home. We had started a loan modification process but it is slow going, it was supposed to put the foreclosure on hold, but we found out that the bank filed a notice of default this week. The communication with the bank has been very difficult and I'm terrified of losing my home. I'm honestly not sure that our marriage would survive that. I'm just not sure I can heal from that wound enough to trust B. again.

I have amazing leadership, warrior sisters and soldiers fighting next to me. I have been loved and encouraged and aided. Right now though, I feel a bit like swiss cheese with each hit taking another piece of me. I just want to catch a break and have some good news. Part of the problem is that my house is a disaster and I just don't have the energy or desire to do anything about it and it seems that neither does anyone else around here. It's hard to find peace amidst chaos, but I really don't have the strength to tame the chaos and I have too much shame about the condition of the house to ask for help. It's rather humiliating.

The most painful wound of all, was the realization that no matter how much I want it, no matter how much he wants to provide it, B. just isn't capable of providing the support I need to recuperate from my wounds right now. Especially not the ones he inflicted. I want his support and he wants to support me, he just isn't capable of it right now. It's very hard to heal from a wound that just keeps getting reopened. 

I am going to go switch my fatigues to the dryer so I can put on the battle wear again tomorrow and try and heal and continue fighting. I will win this battle and heal from these wounds, but not without scars. I am learning though, that our scars make us stronger and are part of our story. 

Battle weary and wounded,


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shame and Comparison

These last few weeks have been rough recovery wise…lots of growing pains. I am so grateful for the growth though, that I am willing to take the pain too.

I STILL have issues with comparison and shame over my story. I still have an overwhelming amount of shame because my husband's acting out behaviors were "just" porn and masturbation. I have felt that I hadn't "earned my seat" so to speak, at the Betrayal Trauma table. This isn't because of the way I was treated or anything that was said to me by the rest of the amazing women at the table, it is all just my own perception. I have felt like B.'s acting out could be so much worse, why should I feel so much betrayal? But here's the thing, I don't HAVE to prove that I have trauma to ANYONE, it's just there. Nobody, including myself, gets to tell me that my trauma isn't justified. My husband is a porn addict, he has been emotionally unavailable to me for the greater part of our twenty years of marriage. Plain and simple. Trauma is trauma and it happens despite our own best efforts to tell ourselves otherwise. What I DO get a say over is how I am going to deal with that trauma and it's effects on me.

I get to say  how hard I work my recovery. I get to say when I'm going to use my tools and reach out. I get to say how long I spend on my knees talking to my Heavenly Father. I get to say I have Trauma (with a capital "T") and own it. As BrenĂ© Brown says, there is so much power in owning our story. I am working on owning mine, Trauma and all.

Here's the other part of that equation, whether or not B. ultimately finds and stays in recovery, is NOT up to me. I have no control over his recovery. I hope he finds recovery. I hope he fights for our family. I pray for those things every day. I cannot, however, control them. He has made progress, significant progress in some areas, but regardless of what progress he has made, I still have to work through the trauma.

I think that's going to be a big dragon for us to slay together, the Trauma dragon. You see, I think B. and me both expect that when he finds recovery I should have found it too. I am realizing that isn't the case, that the addicts recovery and the betrayed's recovery are not usually linear and equal. I know this is going to be a struggle to help him (an myself) understand, but for now I'm leaving that worry where it belongs, in the future. We will, as "they" say, cross that bridge when we come to it.

No comparison,


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spiritualy Nourished

This weekend provided some much needed spiritual nourishment. The peace that has accompanied this nourishment has been a much needed balm to my tender soul. This edifying came through two things, a blessing given to me and participating in Temple Ordinances. I will share with you what I journaled the night I received the blessing, because it sums up exactly how I feel. 

Tonight I asked for a blessing. It was just exactly what Heavenly Father knew I was struggling with. My husband is not in a place in recovery yet that he can give me a blessing, nor would I feel like he was the person that could provide that blessing right now, so I asked my best friend's husband to do it. It was so amazing how much I could feel the Spirit whispering to my friend just what I needed to hear. I was reminded that my Heavenly Father loves me and knows me and the struggles that I am going through. I was also reminded that Jesus Christ personally understands and has felt the trials I am going through. He let me know that I would have the strength to endure as I turned toward Him and built my testimony and that I need to help my children and those around me understand and know the truth of the gospel and the restoration. It was not anything I haven't recently thought or heard, but tonight it was what Heavenly Father knew I needed to hear. 

I was blessed the next day to attend The Temple with my best friend and woman that was there shared this scripture with me. "Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation" - 2 Nephi 4:30. I am not sure what prompted her to share this with me, but It was just what I needed to hear…REJOICE! I am rejoicing in the peace that I have received from my Heavenly Father. 

The strongest impression I received this week, many times over, was that my Heavenly Father KNOWS me and LOVES me and is HERE FOR me. I needed this reminder, apparently over and over again, before it penetrated my soul. I am loved. I am known. I am protected. 

Peacefully Nourished,