Becoming, divorce, focus, forward, one little word, Trauma Recovery

Becoming

Each year since I separated from my husband I pick OneLittleWord to help me grow and progress for that year.

In 2015 my word was FOCUS. I learned to focus on me; Be kind to myself. I started getting regular manicure and massages, something I never did before. I found I liked selfcare! It was awesome to take care of me for a change. I spent a lot of that first year in my PJ’s, in my bed with the covers pulled up over my head, crying my heart out. But that is what I needed to do. Let the pain out. I discovered I was more accomplished that my husband would allow me to believe. There in my bed, l learned I am a strong, talented, capable, amazing woman with many gifts and abilities.

Learning to focus helped me take the blur of that first year and find the parts of me that have been missing and the parts of my life that are most important. God. Family. Peace. Me. I gained clarity and perspective. I realized I deserved to be treated better than I had been treated. I learned I was being abused. Badly. Nobody deserves that. Especially not from their husband!

In 2016 my word was FORWARD. I was learning who I was by focusing on me, but I was stuck. I couldn’t move forward because my husband had me paralyzed with fear. I didn’t know how to move forward without him. I didn’t want to move forward without him. I couldn’t move forward without him. But hanging on to him was making my life hopeless. To survive I had to move forward. He wasn’t making progress. He refused to change. He continued to cheat on me for the next year and a half without stopping. He dug in and declared he didn’t have an addiction. There is nothing I can do with that. A person who won’t even admit they have a problem is…a problem. So, knowing I had done all I could and given him every opportunity to change… Forward is where I went. Forward was divorcing him. He put down his end of our marriage yoke. I had to move on with the load of my pain alone. To do that I had to take him out of the yoke and find one fitted just for me. Alone. I was pulling him along and he had flung himself in the mud. It was too hard and to painful to go on that way. No one would expect me to.

I focused and moved forward through excruciating pain and anguish. There are days I didn’t think I would live through it. Honestly, I do not know how I am still here. But I am. I am broken. Beaten up emotionally.  But I am now ready to try on my new word for this year.

Becoming

Now that my husband is my ex-husband, I am free to become what I have always wanted to be. Me. Without a constant critic. What I always dreamed I could be. I had always hoped to do this with him. I thought we were finally in that space in our lives. I was. He wasn’t. He just never got the important things in life. Not enough to cause deep, significant growth and development.  I would chose that for him, I would have chosen that for us. But it wasn’t my choice to make. Unfortunently. I had to leave him behind. This is by far, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. Devastating. I almost didn’t survive it.

I am now free. My wings are no longer clipped by his criticism and sarcasm towards me. I can fly! I know I can! My inner voice has always told me so. It’s how I have come this far against all odds. Now that what was holding me down has been cut free, like chains wrapped arounnd my ankles, I can take off! Soar!

I am ready to become all I was meant to be! I am ready to cut free the remaining chains of my own self doubt and fear, and let the me I am on the inside! It’s long overdue and it is exciting!

It’s time to try my hand at becoming on my own!

The Cupcake Warrior

chocolate cupcake warrior

Stay Strong, Be Sweet!

addiction, betrayal, My Story, Trauma Recovery

I Accept…

Acceptance Letter

Write a letter telling your partner the things that you accept about your life as it is now.  This doesn’t mean you agree with it or approve.  It just means that you accept the way things are at this time.

Acceptance is a difficult concept.  It means to acknowledge, yield, and surrender to present circumstances. To accept this I must respect your choices, become resigned to learning to live with life the way it is, not the way I want it to be.

screen-shot-2015-07-08-at-1-30-38-pm

I had learned to accept all of you, faults and all.  I have loved you as unconditionally as I knew how, even when I was ignored and hurting.  But accepting this, is the hardest thing I have ever done, or ever had to do.  The road to acceptance is long and difficult.  I feel it is more a process than a destination. I am not sure I really can accept everything that has happened to me, but really, what choice do I have?  If I do not accept this, then it just hurts me further, and one thing I cannot live with is more hurt.  Acceptance, by definition, comes in layers of respect, acknowledgment, yielding, surrendering, submitting, and finally, being satisfied with the outcome. So here is what I accept…

Respect

Respect is a feeling of understanding that encourages you to value someone enough to treat that person in an appropriate way. From this definition, I can truthfully express respect for you.  I have loved your for more than 3 decades.  I value you and respect you enough to move out of your way so that you can pursue the decisions that you have now decided to make, without input or demands from me.  You are free to make your own decisions and I respect that.  Learning to live with it, will be what is the most difficult for me.

I understand and respect myself enough to know that I cannot live with your current reality.  I must walk away until you figure this out.  I deserve to be treated better, so until that happens, if it ever does, I cannot be with you. It’s has been the most difficult thing I have ever done to put myself first and to believe my needs matter enough to meet them, no matter how difficult that is for either of us.

I respect you enough to let you make your own choices. And I respect me enough to do what I need to do for me because of your choices. I have come to accept this.

Acknowledge

When someone acknowledges something it means they are able to recognize the existence, truth or facts of a particular situation and to express the realization that they recognize the authority and validity of the facts.

I acknowledge the truth, facts and existence of your addictive and compulsive behaviors that cause you to act out sexually in inappropriate ways. I had to acknowledge this so that I could find peace and healing for myself. I also acknowledge that you do not agree with this truth because you have not yet learned it for yourself.

I understand that when you do, finally understand, that it will be very difficult for you to accept. But, your family will be here for you to help you through that when the time comes and you are humble enough to recognize it.

I have had to come to accept this for my own sanity.

Yield

Yielding means giving into or going along with the demands, or will of another.

You have always had a very strong will.  One that is very difficult to go up against.  I have often said, you could convince anyone of anything you wanted them to believe.  Your will has been so overpowering that I have often yielded to you just to keep the peace.  It’s much easier to agree with you than to oppose you. Taking the opposite view from yours puts me in a line of fire that is more than difficult to defend or survive.  So, being in opposition to you has always come with a cost.  The price I have paid is losing myself, my needs, my wants, my goals and my values in life.  You do not value me or respect me enough to let me be my own person.  I gave up so much for you.  Yielding to you has been the story of my life. You do not take opposition well.  Your response to it is oppression.

Another word for yield is, to defy.  I knew I could never defy you without serious consequences.  So it took something very serious for me to summon the courage and strength to do that – you broke a core belief. Which is complete fidelity in marriage.  However, I also believe in forgiveness and repentance.  To repent means to change.  So far, that hasn’t happened, so I am forced to acquiesce to you, or betray my core foundational principles. Those were my only two choices.

I cannot betray my belief system.  So, for me, this choice wasn’t easy, but it was the only choice I could make.  You forced me to sacrifice “us” for my core foundational principles.

I cannot yield to you.  I must yield to God. I have come to accept this.

surrender

Surrender 

Surrender is a lot like yielding.  But in this context it is yielding to a higher power, control or demands.  While I cannot yield to your power, control or demands, I can surrender my all to God.

I could not surrender to you, nor could I surrender to me.  Both of us are flesh and blood and we make mistakes, but Heavenly Father does not make mistakes.  He can guide us perfectly through the storms and vicissitudes of life if we surrender our will to His. It became clear to me, early on, that His way was the ONLY way. My one true path. The rock of my foundation. The only way I was going to make it through this in once piece.

So I made a very critical choice – to surrender to Him.  It was the best and most important thing I have ever done.  The only way I could navigate this was to say, “thy will be done!”

There is no other way for me. I have come to accept this.

Submit

Submitting to these truths have been the only way for me to find peace so far.  I don’t like or love any of it.  But there is nothing I can do to interfere with your agency, no matter how much I wish for it.  Our Heavenly Father has declared agency to be a bedrock right.  We were sent to this earth to learn, by our own experience to distinguish the good from the evil.  The only thing that allows that to happen is our agency, there is no other way. I cannot force you to make better choices, no matter how much I may want to do it. I can’t. So rather than be angry at you for making what are, in my opinion, the wrong choices, the best thing I can do for myself and you is to withdraw  to a safe enough distance for me so that you can figure this out for yourself without causing me further damage and so that I can heal regardless of what you do or do not do.

Heavenly Father’s plan is truly merciful for both of us.

sunset in heart hands

Satisfied

Full acceptance mean to be satisfied with the current situation. The mind is at rest, the soul is at peace.  Accepting means that it will suffice for now.  It is good enough.

Is my life the way I want it to be?  NO!  Everything I ever believed has been challenged.  My life, how it was, has been taken from me, along with all of my hopes and dreams.  Accepting what was done to me has been the hardest thing I have been ever asked to do. There was a time, when I believed it would be impossible!  Difficult? Yes!  Impossible? No.  But it does take time and effort.  Healing from deep wounds is never quick or easy.

But I am satisfied that, in time, I will heal.  I will find peace.  My mind will be at rest. And my life will be restored by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. I have already come so far!  Much farther than I ever believed I could, all because of Him, who is mighty to save!

Until then, I am satisfied that I will recover.  I am satisfied that, eventually, my life will be better than I dreamed it could be. I am satisfied that God’s got this. With or without you, I will be ok.

I accept this.

The Cupcake Warrior

chocolate cupcake warrior

Stay Sweet, Be Strong!

betrayal, Coping, healing, My Story, Trauma Recovery

“Lord, Save Me!”

When I think about my life now I have this feeling of anxiousness.  Sort of like I am going to crawl out of my skin.  You know that feeling, right? Somedays it is absolutely paralyzing.  I don’t know what to do first.  I feel scattered and tossed about by every whim of the day, like a feather caught on the breeze.  Floating around out there, I am not quite sure where I am going to land.  I long for the feeling of being settled, secure and safe. Grounded. Rooted in something solid.  I don’t like feeling like a feather. It causes me to feel vulnerable in ways that are uncomfortable.  I want to feel like an oak tree.

My ex-husband’s addiction has severed me from everything that anchored me to the solid foundation I once had.  The love of my life. Our family. Friends. Church. Nothing is the same anymore. All of it shattered into a million pieces. Floating.  Out there is my life, somewhere.  I want it back. Here’s the rub, I will never get it back and I know it.  Getting my life back is utterly dependent on the choices of another, who has no interest in choosing me, choosing us.  So here I am. Starting life over…at my age. Geez!  Life is so unfair. This really bites!

Sometimes, like today – I wake up feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. Monday’s are the worst!  I have so many things I could be doing, should be doing; working on my business, keeping up with school work, recovery work and housework. Where do I begin. Sigh. My life is a mess.  I know it is a mess.  I want it back.  Where do I start? I need a plan. Something SOLID that I can sink my teeth into! Let’s make this week count!  Darn it!

I’m scared.  So frightened of the new week.  Can I get it right this time or will I ultimately end up checking out and wasting my time on things that have no worth? Can I create something beautiful out of the chaos? I know I can, I have done it before, but I am in uncharted territory here.  I have never been in this position or anything remotely like it. There is no frame of reference, no similar experiences, no map…nothing. I suppose that is why it feel so unnerving.  There isn’t anything in my past experience to relate it to, so how am I supposed to know what to do? I need a plan. Something simple.  I can’t handle complicated at this point.

I had an epiphany this morning during my scripture study – EPIPHANY – I like that word.  It’s fun to say, and it’s a big word that makes me feel smart! Anyway…where was I…oh, yeah…scripture study.

I am studying by topic this year.  My one little word for the year is FORWARD.  Can you tell I am and ready to move out of the chaos that is my life? So I am researching and studying everything in the scriptures, conference talks, or words of the Prophets that have to do with pressing forward.  I could write several blog post on what I am learning, but I will save that for another time.  Today, I mentioned I had an epiphany. Something that will help me create order from the chaos…

It’s actually pretty simple.  “Lord, save me!” Peter’s exact words when he stepped out of the boat and walk on the water in his effort to come unto Christ. The most amazing thing about this story to me is Peter stepped out of the boat in the middle of a raging storm to walk on the water, so great was his desire to go to his Lord!  He was conquering the chaos as long as he kept his focus on Jesus, but the second he noticed the storm raging around him, he sank. Like a rock. (Peter, the rock!  Get it?)  Peter taught me an important lesson here.  Chaos can abound in my life, the storms will rage and anxiety can overwhelm me, but if I keep my eyes on the Savior, I will not sink into the depths of the sea and become overpowered. And then those powerful words for those times I falter and I am overpowered – “Lord, save me!”

So here is the plan for this week:

When life is an overwhelming blog of chaos and an unorganized mess. I cry out, “Lord, save me!”  This is the only way to do it, I believe.  Who else is mighty enough to save me?  No one!  Who knows what is best for me?  Who has my back?  Who knows what I need to do first, next and last?  He does!  All I need to do is to ask.  However, there is a certain amount of effort I have to make on my part to tap into His powerful saving grace. I cannot just go about my life, getting myself into a tangled mess and then expect Him to miraculously step in and keep me from drowning.  I have to do my part.  But what is my part?

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father; ye shall have eternal life.” (The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 31:20)

I draw your attention to two parts I must do; 1. Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, and 2. Press forward feasting upon the words of Christ. From these two things I gathered that I cannot reasonably expect Him to save me if I don’t make Him a priority in my life.  Being steadfast means to have commitment, dedication and perseverance.  Feasting means more than a casual snack with the scriptures. The formula is clear; I make Him a priority + ask for His help = He will save me!  Easy huh?  Well, no.  Not really.  This is hard work. I need to make the effort to draw near to Him. For me, this is totally worth it though.  In a life of unknowns and in uncharted territory this seems to be the only way.

If I have ever needed Him more at anytime in my life, it is now!  Most days I feel like I cannot go 5 minutes without crying out, “Lord, save me!”  This week I am going to make this a priority to place my focus on Him and what he wants me to do, then maybe I will start to see  better forward progress than I could make on my own. I whittled it down to 4 steps:

  1. Focus on Christ to make Him a priority on my life.
  2. Feast upon the scriptures.
  3. Ask Him what he wants me to do first, middle and last.
  4. Tap into the power of His grace by including Him in the process, don’t go it alone.

The Father’s plan, the Savior’s Atonement, and the ordinances of the gospel provide the GRACE we need to PRESS FORWARD and progress, line upon line, precept upon precept toward our eternal destiny.” Elder David A. Bednar

Tell me how you make beauty out of the chaos of your life –

“Stay Strong, Be Sweet!”

chocolate cupcake warrior

The Cupcake Warrior