Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Good Day - 6 months in

April 14, 2012


A good day


I can’t find my regular journal at the moment.  But I know I need to write about today.  I’ve been in a dark place, having a hard time, struggling to hope for hope and to want to try.  I’ve been feeling a lot of pain and hopelessness.  I think that the writing of my narrative and the journaling I’ve been doing particularly yesterday’s writing about my feelings, trying to spell it all out – get it out- work through it – figure it out set the stage for more hope.  I really saw more clearly yesterday how very blessed I am.  I realized that I have everything I was looking for when I married Alan.  I wanted stability and security and I have that – he’s really given me everything I’ve ever asked for.  It’s not Alan’s fault that I now see more that I want him to be – a man with a dream & passion…I didn’t ask for that in the first place, I’m changing the rules here.  My perspective just changed a little yesterday as I was able to separate a little bit from the villain narrative I’ve created for him and from the victim narrative I’ve cultivated for my whole life and as I separated from those I thought about what I really want out of life – what a perfect world would be for me now and I found myself wanting to show excitement when he came home to say to him “I’m so happy that you’re here” and to spend some time with him – where in the preceding days/weeks I’ve really been pushing him away.


He came home and immediately rushed to play with the girls – which I usually totally appreciate but yesterday it felt like he was scared of me and not wanting to be with me.  I determined to push myself, daughter #1 asked if I would jump with them on the trampoline and I told her I would.  She went out to play.  I sat on the floor and cried a little.  Then I got up and pushed myself out to spend some time together all four of us together remembering how I want my girls to feel the love of both of us together.  The night went on with our usual turns at parenting and after bed-time for the girls my husband said that he wanted some time alone if I didn’t need anything.  Then he went into the garage to clean.  I wanted to be with him but didn’t want to take his “me time” away.  I poked my head out of the garage door and asked if he wanted help – he told me only if I wanted to be with him.  Which I did but because of my recent feelings/behavior – he couldn’t tell.  We worked hard, a little awkwardly as I tried to see his vision without suggesting or pushing.   It was fun and he was glad to get so much accomplished.  I was so happy to be able to help him accomplish something, we got rid of tons of stuff, moved stuff around and the garage looks sooo much better.


We came in and showered and had a bit of a discussion (as they all seem to go lately – me timidly wanting to share my feelings without hurting him, him feeling hurt and trying to respond in the “right way”) and then we sat and talked and talked and talked and I insisted that he tell me how he was feeling and I felt relieved to know what he’s been thinking and what he’s been thinking that I was thinking and to be able to clarify and to come up with a bit of a plan for me to begin by saying “I don’t mean to hurt you but I’m feeling …” for him to respond with “the script” and for him to wait to share his hurts and feelings until I’m “rational again” – I told him that I usually am aware of when I’m not being rational and that I don’t think I’ll be offended if he asks whether I’m feeling rational and that I’ll try to be honest about whether I’m in a good place to hear him out.  We just talked about our feelings, our concerns, our pain, our fears, our faith our changes.  I talked to him about how alone I often feel. 


The day before he had said the most beautiful things to me – and I felt loved unconditionally, I felt accepted that even though he sees & knows and I constantly remind him that I am broken he accepts responsibility for my pain and loves me even though I often feel broken, worthless and unlovable.


We held each other and were physically intimate and it was so amazingly wonderful, beautiful, powerful and after I felt a peace, a serenity a feeling of safety and comfort that has been scarce in my life.  It was so wonderful and desirable that I didn’t want him to let go of me.  I didn’t want the night to end and I held as tightly as I could to each beautiful feeling.  When we woke up this morning, I didn’t want to get out of bed, I just wanted to stay with him in bed because I didn’t want any thought or anything to intrude into my wonderfully happy feelings.  We had a great day, we worked hard, we played with the girls, we spent time together all 4 of us, I went to my meeting this am and felt like I had something to offer and so much to gain.  This afternoon we all sat on the couch and read stories – it was lovely.  This day was full of beautiful, precious, joyous moments, happy moments, heavenly moments.  Today our home was heaven on earth.  Today was a good day!


The attack came back, I let it in.  There is this film I want to see: Miss Representation – it’s about our culture (our pornified culture) and how the objectification of women that is widely promoted and readily accepted influences both the ideas women have about themselves and the view men have of women and how these ideas discourage and disallow women from attaining positions of power – in politics, in business and in public life.  I’m so interested.  I feel like I could develop a story to tell – enough information and personal experience to speak to people about the harms of pornography.  I have this deep desire to help people to see their divine nature and their value and help people break free of the limits they put on themselves and the lies they believe.  A local church was hosting a screening tonight and I somehow thought that I could find the documentary on line so that Alan and I could watch it here.  I couldn’t find it on-line to watch here – which is probably a very good thing because, part of the presentation included images of pornography and objectification of women to demonstrate the widely glamorized and at least accepted images that so pervade our media drenched culture. It’s also probably better that I didn’t find it because it is so painful for me to feel the harm such images have, will and do cause and because it inflames my lack of trust in men and my anger at the violent situation at hand both in my own personal relationship and in the world at large. I found some websites and the movie trailer and felt a little shaken.  I just want to go out and save the world, but it just isn’t the right time for me, I’m not strong enough – yet?


He and I talked more tonight but just seeing those few images, remembering my pain, looking at and talking to my husband who is drawn away from me by these types of images and remembering how fat and ugly I felt today opened the smallest crack for Satan to whisper in my ear and weakened me enough to start to forget my resources and the great Army that is fighting with me and for me and that God is our leader – GOD – The creator of Heaven and Earth is on my side and fighting for me and they that be with us are more than they that be with them!  How quick to forget, how slow to remember I am.


After finishing the above entry I started browsing on the computer reading old journal entries.  I found an entry from April14, 2006 just as we were preparing for in vitro and read through several others from that year ahh how the themes of my life repeat themselves:

            Dreaming/planning – researching, check-list making…


            Guarding my heart – keeping the possibility of pain as far away as possible

            Realizing that guarding my heart also keeps love and joy at a distance

            Giving my will to God

            Accepting my situation and letting go of prior dreams

            Being blessed and enjoying the process of coming up with new dreams


Round and round we goJ  Practice, endurance training, small races and prizes along the way to the ultimate – enduring to the end (cheerfully & patiently)

More feelings 6 months in

April 13, 2012


How I’m feeling this morning


Like I’ve given so much already and it wasn’t enough, why try to give more to my husband?  I read every self-help book I could find, I remember feeling like something was wrong, like my husband wasn’t connected.  I remember not wanting to be a nagging or demanding wife and reading books like Dr. Phil McGraw’s “relationship rescue” and learning that all I could do was to change myself and by changing myself, by sending out more love the climate could change and my spouse might respond by giving more love in return…I don’t remember if I felt like it worked.  I remember feeling so alone in parenting, budgeting, planning, spiritual leading and convening family counsels around my concerns and using special language “it is very important to me that ____, ____, ____, be done” and he's stepping up to meet my requests for a while. 


So now, my husband is making great strides, feeling changed, saying he’s dedicated to me and our family and to recovery and I believe him, but I don’t feel it and I feel terrible that while he’s making these great changes I’m stuck feeling terrible, worthless, like I wasn’t enough then with all my striving and self improvement how could I ever be enough now feeling like the effort isn’t even worth it, sharing my pain that just makes my husband feel worse, feeling a void of love for him.  I see his struggle that it is so hard for him to give up a disgusting habit that brought him relief, pleasure, escape.  How terrible of me to want to take it from him. 


And yet, I don’t want to be with a man that wants other women, that doesn’t trust me enough to share his stress, desire to escape, etc. I don’t want to be with a man that desires women other than me – it seems this is too high a desire for me to have as all men desire to have sex with or imagine being with any beautiful woman or even any naked woman that crosses their path.  And even if such a man exists, it is my lot to stay with this man (who I readily admit is a wonderful man far better in many ways than I deserve and far kinder and more generous and patient than I am) who desires it who has given into it for all of his adult life and much of his childhood.  He is changing but against his will, against his natural desire to….become something other than what he is….to satisfy my need for fidelity?


So here I am, feeling demanding (something far beyond what is possible for a man?), feeling exhausted, not even sure if I want what I’m demanding, feeling stuck, knowing that it is best for our children to have a mom and dad – knowing that my husband and I are the best parents for them, Knowing that it is possible to feel madly in love with him again + have the spirit always with me + trust in God + Put God first in my life + be filled with all the love I need from God alone, and yet wondering if it’s possible or worth the effort, feeling so hurt, neglected, abandoned, rejected, abused, and feeling guilty for feeling bad at all since this is such a small violation and really to be expected of all men and really my life is beautiful and blessed and I am spoiled by a cush life and a good kind man.  What more could I ask.


It is up to me to choose happiness, to create of my life what I wish it to be, to fill it myself with the things that bring me joy (my children, education, being self-sufficient, nature, prayer, meditation, travel, sex, service, helping others to see their worth, doing what I can to alleviate suffering through out the world) and to feel happy regardless of my husband’s choices or desires.  And it is my obligation to love and provide for my children so that they feel safe and loved and know that I love them – no matter what.  It is also my obligation to love & serve my husband – to be kind, to help him to feel happy, to be his soft place to land/fall after a hard days work, to make my home a heaven on earth, to keep myself and my children well dressed & groomed and to make my husband’s life in every way possible as smooth and lovely as I can.  To ask less and give more and be cheerful in doing itJ  All this while remembering that it is okay to feel my feelings, to express my pain and that I need to patient with myself as I work at recovery.  Oh Joy!


In a perfect world:

  • My husband would love, cherish, honor and desire only me
  • I would have help with my kiddos (a nanny or daily tutor to work with them on reading & numbers)
  • I would make the time to read with the girls every day (books about the people, places & history of the world, about science and nature and fairy tales)
  • I would work – in some meaningful occupation (teaching at a woman’s shelter (interview, resume skills) or at a high school teaching kids to dream, that they can be anything they want, to reach for the stars, to study & to apply themselves, that they have individual worth, that it is never okay for someone to treat them as less than a child of God
  • My husband would have dreams of his own that I could help him reach
  • He would have things (ones that don’t violate my value) that he would want to spend time doing
  • My husband and I would have common goals that we were dedicated to working on
  • My husband would be a partner in spiritual leadership in our home (scheduling, conducting, participating in FHE, Family Counsel, Family Prayer, teaching the gospel to our children, trying to be like Jesus)
  • He would have talents he wants to develop
  • He would actively schedule his time & we could calendar together so that we each have time for our individual interests
  • We would enjoy talking to each other – neither of us would feel that we alone were responsible for driving conversation
  • We would plan and anticipate dates together
  • I would be a better mom (more fun, happier, full of better educational ideas, more energetic to play directly with my children, feeling less guilt for the time I’ve spent under functioning or crying or feeling completely incapable)
  • I would be happy and content with only the love and validation I receive from God
  • I wouldn’t have to spell out my feelings and schedule my desires into life and carefully ask for support from my husband, I wouldn’t feel guilty about scheduling my desires,
  • He would help me and encourage me to do the things I want/need to do (he does this already – offering time to myself, suggesting I take a hike, etc.)
  • I would feel less anxiety about the world my girls are going into – surrounded by boys already on their way to perversion and sex addiction and girls who are trying to fit the mold of desirability through seduction
  • I would feel hope for a future in which each member of my family feels loved, cherished, fulfilled, capable, honorable, beautiful, worthy, valuable, happy
  • I would be able to let go of the hurts of the past
  • I would allow people to change
  • I would believe that people can change
  • I would believe that at our core we are all good people, divine children of a Heavenly Father
  • I would believe that the wrong turns we all make are not because we are inherently bad but because we have been deceived into wrong thinking
  • I would have patience for loud children
  • I would enjoy every moment I have to spend with my husband and children
  • I would plan even more time with extended family and enjoy it – just being there, doing whatever
  • I would feel good about connecting with people – being intimate – sharing my feelings, beliefs & desires
  • I would be a better listener
  • I would spend more time with people
  • I would be a better teacher
  • I would be more interactive with my children


Feelings 5 months in

February 28, 2012


Feelings, it’s been a while since I’ve free typed, it’s actually taking a little longer with all my typos…feelings.  I’m all over the board, start to feel like I’m making progress then feel like I’m as low and immature as I’ve ever been.  


My heart is still hurting, bruised, torn, broken


My trust – longs to rebuild but is so guarded by stone walls


My head is with God, I know for sure He lives, He has always been with me, He will always be near and anxious to administer to my needs, He is over all, With Him I cannot fail, He will make it all right in the end.  He is solid, never failing.  With Him, I win.


My spirit is shaking, She feels so weak and wounded and exhausted.  She longs to :remember truth to feel the joy and inhibited smiles she’s known in the past;  To look at everyone and see them individually as children of god;  To trust in God and because of Him to have no fear in trusting people and opening her heart to love and pain; to laugh, to dance, to sing loudly, to enjoy each moment to really be present now, in every moment, to be unmoved by the winds whatever they may be – wherever they come from – wherever they are going


My body – feels abused – by me – garbage in, almost constantly to try to cover the pain and fear


My thoughts are constantly where they should not be: fear, anger, bitterness, shame, hurt, obsessing over my husband's behavior, wishing the time away, isolating, letting go of the things I love and value


My hope ebbs and flows, in the future I trust all will be well under God’s attentive care, in the now and in the near future blehhhhhhhhhhh

living "as-if" 5 months in

February 19, 2012


It’s been a day and a half of love and beauty as I once again experimented with living my life “as-if” I’ve forgiven, “as-if” I trust Alan.  It’s been good.  Last night I slipped.  AS I looked in the mirror yesterday to try to see myself and remember who I am and that God loves me and that this situation isn’t my fault, I felt the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me, that this isn’t my fault, that I am lovable, beautiful and that His Grace is upon me.  I felt those beautiful feelings and the pain.  Oh how difficult and beautiful this affliction is.  For the blessings are tremendous – things I’ve desired my whole life are unfolding as miracles in my life.  I’m learning to love God, I’m remembering who I am, I know my mission & purpose in life, I am blessed on every hand, I am surrounded by love, support, friendship, sisterhood, priesthood power, help and the love of God all the time. 


I know that it will be okay, that God will provide and get me through this.  I know that it will be alright – even beautiful and amazing in the end.  Where I am is where I am supposed to be.  Even though I feel such loss and grief for what is lost – I have only lost something broken and I know that the Lord’s way, His plan are to restore my soul and my blessings, even exceedingly abundantly more than I could hope for or imagine.  I do know that that is true.  I’ve lost sight of that last night & this morning, but I know that it is true.  I know that He loves me perfectly, that His hand is over all, that He is with me all the time, every moment.  If I look up and reach for him – He will run to me,

On Adversity: the price to know God

January 21, 2012


On Adversity, the price to know God


I have just been thinking so much about adversity, about reaching, about how our trials refine us, about how God only requires all we can give – not that we can save ourselves or need to be more than we can ever be – we don’t need to be perfect, we cannot be perfect; it is only through Grace that we are saved.  We are saved by and because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ there is nothing we can do to earn it or to deserve it, it is done, He atoned for us and all that is required for salvation is that we look to Him that we accept His atonement, accept Jesus Christ, look to God and live. 


We have the opportunity however in this life to know God and to know Him we must pay the price, it’s a very heavy price, it costs in fact exactly all we can give – no more and no less but it costs everything we have.  We each are given in this life trials and temptations and pains and sorrows and suffering.  If you don’t feel that you have had trials that have torn at your very core requiring you to look to God because that is all you are able to do, don’t worry, you’ll have the chance.  If you feel like you are doing good, you are doing all the things you have been taught to do: read your scriptures, pray, attend your meetings, serve faithfully, attend the temple as often as you can, that is good, that is so good and it will help you when the sore trials come.  The fact is, there are no guarantees in life.  There is no way for us to save ourselves or protect ourselves from pain and trial by being as close to perfect as we can possibly be and more.  Life happens.  Opportunities to grow and stretch and to know God, they come.  Sometimes we can see them coming or we get this feeling like life is so good – something big is on it’s way and we study even harder, stretch even further and examine our lives for those grey areas and step up our game to prepare ourselves for the inevitable, that is so good and it is helpful.  Sometimes trials hit us out of the blue, completely unexpectedly and sometimes the come raining down when we already feel we’re knee or waist deep in the mud.  They come, that is life.  These earthly experiences are why we’re here in fact the hard things we do and the hard things we go through are exactly why we are here – to learn and to grow – to learn to love God, to depend on Him, to rely on Him, to desire with all our hearts to return to Him and to be like Him.    


WE must give him our weaknesses – we give away all of our sins to know him.


There is joy to be found in the journey but feeling super joyful during every second of every trial is just not likely to happen.  Some hope that I’ve found is in knowing that God compensates us for our pain and sorrow and that in fact the deeper our pain and sorrow the higher our capacity to feel and know joy and happiness.  The happiest people I know, I mean these people have the largest smiles, the most contagious joy and zest for life, the loudest laughter, the most excitement about other peoples successes and triumphs, are the people who have been through the worst life has to offer.  I am blessed to know a couple of these people, maybe you know them too: Georgina Horton and Roy Mongone.  They’ve seen the very worst of humanity and from that depth of sorrow and suffering have come out on the other side with a perspective about life, a knowledge of God that sees them right through the stumbling blocks some of the rest of us see as mountains.


Prepare for the worst, put on your armor everyday it will help in the battle.  Don’t expect it to shield you from the fight or from inevitable wounds but prepare none the lest, gather and polish your weapons of war so that when the enemy strikes, as he always does, you’ll be prepared to meet him head on, to head him off at the gate or to regroup if he’s gotten past your first lines of defense and attacked you at the very heart.  Keep on trucking as the battle rages around you.  Take time to be still, to be alone, to reconnect with your spirit and with God.  Turn to God, if it is all you can do to look toward Jesus Christ, do it.  Keep on with the basics – scriptures, prayers, church, temple and expect the blessings to come – after all we have promises – comforting beautiful promises and we know that the Lord is bound to them as we fulfill our part of the covenants.  In fact we can expect him to fight our battles for us. 


Seek after the things that are virtuous and lovely and of good report and praise worthy – even if you read a blessing someone else has received and can only desire to believe that maybe it could be true – that maybe God could really heal your heart and restore your soul then take that desire to believe and let it work in you.  Write down the blessings that you want, learn all you can about how blessings are received and keep on keeping on.  Learn to love God, learn to trust Him, learn to believe that He really can redeem even you – He really can, think often of your testimony – write it down find opportunities to share it, think about the times the Lord has spoken to you, think about the things you know for sure and let the spirit work within in you to teach you more to bring you to greater light and knowledge.  It will.  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you.  I know they do.  Because I know they love me and for a long long time I felt like I was unlovable by anyone but all through that time they loved me, I know they did and they were with me and they love you and they are with you – always – you just have to want to know them and look for them and they’ll be there always, especially when you need them most.  

Can I? (4 months in)

January 13, 2011


Can I forgive myself for being deceived, for foolishly trying to control my life and make everything okay, even picture perfect?  Can I look forward to and even enjoy the challenge of working on an imperfect marriage with an imperfect man and imperfect me?  Can I let go of the pain and the fear and the sadness? 


Can I open my heart, can I let people in?  Can I have fun and let go of the control?  Can I risk looking like a fool and failing in order to enjoy and learn from life? 


Can I trust God and let go?                           


Can I let go of the fear of becoming overwhelmed and be gentle with myself when I do become overwhelmed?  Can I maintain an eternal perspective and let the little stuff stay little (not make it bigger than it is)? 


Can I enlist my husband's help in teaching and raising our children and then let him help in his way?  Can we plan activities together and can I stay calm and happy as we plan and let them come to pass? 

One month into the journey

November 22, 2011


I just have a really hard time sorting through the reality of this.  I want to blame him, me or me and then I want to feel so bad that I can’t function.  What is up with that.  I feel insecure.  I’ve lived in this fantasy for 13 years and it wasn’t even that great.  It was a fantasy where my husband was perfect and I was a martyr.  That is crappy.


I told myself how lucky I was to have him.  He has a good job.  He is kind.  He let’s me run our household.  He goes to church, even when I don’t want to.  He serves.  He is fun.  He is happy.  He has lots of great skills.


I told myself how lucky he was.  I like sex.  I thought we had a lot of it.  I was fun and supportive and encouraging.  I tried to keep our house presentable and I praised him to everyone.


Really.  Really we live in reality and we are just like everyone else.  Maybe it’s time to bond with the others. It would appear that we are all bonded.  Life is traumatic, it hurts, it beats us down and helps us grow.  It is hard and here we are together.  None of us are perfect.  All of us cry.  Other people feel their problems as deeply as I feel mine.  Let us all rejoice together. 


I love my husband, my devotion and attachment to him has been ridiculous.  It is time.  It is time to grow up.  It is time to live my dreams.  It is time to let him go and find his own.  I will hope we progress together.  I will let him be.  I will quit doing things that I don’t want to do.  I will begin doing the things that I want to do.  I will let him go and do what he wants to do.  I will love him and honor him and seek and listen to his council as he honors the Lord. 


I know that my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me.  I know that they will help me to learn to stand, to smile, to love, to laugh and to give.  That is what I really, truly want to do.  I want to serve with a happy loving heart and They will help me to become a woman who can serve without beating myself up.  They will help me to let go of the baggage and love me so that I can serve them for I truly know that is true, pure, heaven on earthJ