Monday, December 29, 2014
Despite being in the "happiest place on Earth," I did have a full meltdown on our third night there. It was a doozy and I feel kind of ashamed that it went so far. (We're talking a rolling around on the ground, screaming, crying, begging for death kind of relapse.) What triggered it? It is surprising to me how sensitive I have become to being in public amidst other beautiful women...women that far surpass me in beauty. Let's face it, Southern California is full of them. For four days I was walking around a theme park filled with skinny, busty, beautiful young moms with no hair out of place, no fat on their hips and perfect nails and makeup. It was torture for me! I came home each night with thoughts like these: "It's no wonder my husband had an affair or two. He is married to such an unattractive person. It's only a matter of time before he realizes it and starts searching for a younger, skinnier, prettier model." Or, "I wonder if his affair partners looked like these women? Why on earth would he want to stay with me when he has already proven to himself that he can attract much better looking women?" Friends, it was torturous. I won't mention the other thoughts that popped into my head but those weren't pleasant either.
So, it all came to a gruesome, painful embarrassing head on our third night. Jason got angry with me, I got angry with me but I just couldn't pull myself from the pain. Good heavens, will this pain ever go away? After a few hours of tense words, we both calmed down and apologized and then restlessly slept. Thankfully, I didn't have another "episode" for the rest of the trip but I had to really watch myself. There was a show on our cruise that had some dancers with very revealing costumes. I forced myself to look away and think of something else. I hope Jason did the same. I tried not to "people watch." (a pasttime that I have always enjoyed but I have found lately to not be able to do without having bad, bad thoughts.)
I did have a revelatory experience while on the ship. We were in a room filled with people and I was feeling small and inadequate. The thought came to me very clearly, "If you were in this same room full of people and you could strip away these mortal bodies to simply reveal everyone's spirit, the entire room would look to you and marvel at the beauty that is your spirit. You would stand out as the most beautiful in the room." I am not sure if this was the Lord talking to me or just me trying to make myself feel better but it worked. I carried that image around with me for the remainder of the trip. I think that is true of all of us that are facing immense challenges with faith and testimony. We are powerful, beautiful souls that are to be admired for what we are enduring and for our grace, courage and strength.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
I wanted to share this because it touched me so and I don't know who else to share it with but with you good folks...people that "know." My husband had this poem waiting for me at the office when I got in this morning. He wrote it for me to remind me that I am his "Hero." Yeah, many tears may or may not have been shed. :) Anyway, here it is:
My choices led to danger
As I was so far off the trail.
One small step to either side
And I would have found myself in hell.
I let myself get pulled in,
My defenses I left down,
Till the mire I was standing in
got so deep, I almost drowned.
I saw my happiness slipping away,
And thought my bondage was complete
As I gave in to my selfishness
And prepared for my defeat.
And at the moment of my total loss,
when I had no right for hope,
That's when you stepped up to the mire
And tossed me out a rope.
A rope you didn't have to throw,
you could have easily turned away,
and left me there to fend for myself,
with my own beast to slay.
Nobody would have judged you,
Not one soul would have questioned why,
if you had simply turned your back
and said a blunt goodbye.
But that was not your impulse,
when you came across this liar.
Instead you dug your heals in,
And you pulled me from the mire.
I don't think you understand
the gift you gave that day.
And now my drowning's turned to healing
Thanks to the price you chose to pay.
You will forever be my hero,
you have chosen to pay the toll
that rescued me from filth
and begun the saving of my soul.
And now the work is mine to do
and the road ahead is still unknown
but I am so grateful you are by my side
And I'm not traveling it alone.
I was so touched by this today. I instantly thought of you ladies here and what heroes you each are..no matter what your circumstance. With the Savior's help, you are standing fast in your testimonies, you are strong and determined...even when things seem hard. You have all helped me so much in my healing and you are all my heroes!
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
As I have posted before, November of 2013 was when the longest of my husband's affairs began...the one that sent him over the top and finally forced a full disclosure. I have tread very lightly this month, trying to do things very differently than last. I still felt those triggery thoughts from time to time as the air got cold, the mornings and afternoons turned dark and Thanksgiving approached. Those simple things sent my heart back to last year's pains and hurts and suspicions.
But, I SURVIVED! Yes, the tears came a little more readily, the conversations were a little more painful and heated, and the bad memories a little more easy to recall this month. I knew that would be the case and so did my husband.
For Thanksgiving we decided to not celebrate as we usually do (and as we did last year) and we abandoned all family and traditions and left for the beach. We live about an hour from the coast and so we rented a house there for just our family. My in-laws were surprised (we always spend the holidays together) but understanding. I truly believe that this decision was inspired. We had an amazing time just "getting out of Dodge." We leisurely made dinner and ate when we felt like it. We walked the beach (through a rain storm), and we did a 1000 piece puzzle that took us 3 whole days to complete. We got fudge at the local fudge shop and shopped for ornaments at the Christmas store. All the while, I was rejoicing in the "newness" of it! I had very few triggers over the Thanksgiving weekend and it was like balm to my soul.
So, now I am facing December..the month when the affair was in overdrive. (And a second one occurred in the middle of the first.) If you haven't read my husband's story, here is what was going on last year at this time. My addiction journey part 7 In order for us to face it and not be driven mad by the memories, we are once again getting away. We are not putting up a tree, we are not sending out cards, we are not baking any holiday goodies. We are not giving many gifts or attending many Christmas concerts. I know we sound like a bunch of Scrooges but this year, we had to mix it up. Instead, we are leaving in two weeks to take our family to Disneyland and then on a four night cruise to Mexico. Crazy huh? The money we would have spent on "things" is being spent on memories that will hopefully replace last year's memories of despair and addiction.
We are focusing on the Atonement this year...and rightly so as we have never felt its' power more than we have in 2014. Once we get back from our trip, we will hit our one year anniversary of D-day and from then on, we can officially say that all of this garbage happened "over a year ago." That just sounds so nice doesn't it? By the end of January we hope to reconvene a church court and hopefully have a re-baptism. Good things are happening here, despite the pain that we have felt and still feel. So, we are celebrating Christ's birth in a different way...and that's okay. We feel like He has been leading and guiding our every footstep this year and that this trip was an answer to a very heavy prayer.
With His help, I know we will make it through 2014 with all of it's revelations, surprises, hurts and anniversaries. And to tell you the truth, the year hasn't been all bad. We have learned so much and grown so much and had some beautiful moments together as a family. Will I be glad to see 2014 slip into history? YES! I will rejoice on New Year's Eve like I have never rejoiced before! Here's to new beginnings, new friends, new understanding, new memories and a new year!