Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Therapy Day 4.29.08

I want to have an affair.
This has nothing to do with therapy.
It came upon me later in the afternoon.
Perhaps it is because of all the stuff I am working on in therapy that is bringing up to compulsion to be out of this alcoholic marriage and be in a relationship with someone: the Coach, Mr. M's friend P, Soccer friend J, men on Match.com, and I am sure there are others.
I am envisioning tousling their hair and joking with them and having a nice, peaceful life.
(For the record - even though there IS no "record" - I really don't want to destroy someone's marriage and family and life, so I really would not have an affair with a married man... it's just that I want to BE a wife and BE married and so married men look just like what I want, but of course any man who cheats on his wife is not a man I'd want.)

Anyhow, my friend T told me something today she has wanted to tell me for YEARS... she felt like she could finally tell me because I am in therapy and will not take it personally... YIKES! What does that say about how I have been???

Speaking of therapy, I felt sad and anxious today and it took me a while to GO there and sit there and FEEL it. In the end, it was all about Mr. M again/still. And it was also about how much I want people to like me and accept me and want to be around me and how I can't open up and let myself out and people in... I just want to "collect" friends (the way i do with stationary (hoarding). And then I talked about how I want to (but don't usually) push people to see if they will abandon me or cave in or be too weak to handle me. And so I told Dr. (Greg? Therapist? What do I call him?) that I don't think I push him because I don't want to know if he will cave in. He said he thinks I push him by not wanting the session to end. I can't decide how I feel about that. I have mixed feelings: anger, hurt, embarrassment, shame. I am angry because it is his job to know when the session ends and starts, not mine and so I count on him to end it when he needs to. I am uncertain because IS that a way I push him??? I don't think so... but maybe a little bit because I want him to care enough to make an exception? But if he made an exception, I think I would view that as caving in? Of course, hurt and embarrassed because that is how he sees me and I do not want to be seen that way.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Me #1

I ADORE stationary... I am afraid to use it because then it will be gone and I won't have any more. 
So really, I am a collector of stationary... 
I just hoard it.  
I am a stationary hoarder.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”- Proverbs 31:30

Although it is true that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”, I find myself often wanting to always be honey when the truth sometimes lies in vinegar.  There is nothing wrong with compliments and kindness. But there is a thin line between compliments and flattery, between being kind and being a people-pleaser. Scripture is clear about the difference. “Charm is deceptive.”  This seems more a challenge than a condemnation. Can I strive for more loving truth and less deceptive charm?

When I am in line at the grocery store and glance over at the newsstand, I see 87 magazine covers showing me what beauty is and is not. Perhaps it’s the glorious model already back in her pre-pregnancy jeans even though her baby is just 9 minutes old.   Or on the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe it’s the pop star photographed in her bathing suit looking like a *GASP* size 10 while the tabloid headline screams that she is obese. Even if we don’t pick up those magazines and read them, they still creep into our subconsciousness.

There is nothing wrong with being beautiful. In the Old Testament, It was Queen Esther’s beauty, that God used to save the Jews.  It’s the value we place on it, how we use it, and what other areas we neglect when we focus on our beauty that are more God’s concern.  What is beautiful to Him is a woman who fears the Lord and finds her confidence in Him.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Santa, Disillusionment, and 2XL

Do you remember 2XL?  
Ah... I wanted this robot soooooo bad!

I just KNEW he and I would be the best of friends.

It was the Christmas I was about to be 12... so I did what any other love-struck tween would do, I asked Santa for him.  Yes, I still believed in Santa.  I'd had a close call 2-3 years before when someone told me there was no such thing as Santa.  I was shocked, heart-broken, devastated.  I ran to my mother to demand the truth "So-and-so said there is no Santa!".  My mother was un-phased "That's too bad for her... I guess she won't get any gifts from Santa for Christmas."   This put my mind at rest; my mother didn't panic and look guilty AND there was justice... non-believers would get no gifts.  I happily went back into my trance-like state of unquestioning, devoted belief.

So, here I am, about to be 12 - already a woman (my period having just started for the very first time a mere 2 weeks before), asking Santa for 2XL.

On Christmas Eve, I was giddy with excitement.  I was having trouble sleeping - due to the anticipation.  I am not sure what it was I needed to tell my Mom, but something got me out of bed.  I crept down the hall toward their room.  Their door was shut.  It was NEVER shut (unless they were having sex... although I am not sure I knew this yet).   Because this was unusual, I didn't want to knock and bother them or wake them up, so I peeked through the crack between the double doors.
Now, HOLD YOUR HORSES... I KNOW what you're thinking "Nice try little girl!  We're not stupid!  We know why little kiddies would peek on Christmas Eve and it has nothing to do with polite courtesy!"  

I appreciate your low-minded cynicism and understand that with your dark heart, you probably won't believe me, but here is something weird about me:  
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a peeker.  
I HATE knowing what I am getting.  I am SAD if people are bad hiders or bad secret-keepers or liars... I do not WANT to know what I am getting.  I never (not even once) looked for my Mom's secret hiding places to see what I might be getting.  I did not go through drawers or rummage through closets or sneak up to the attic.  In fact, I was afraid to even go INTO closets for fear I might accidentally stumble upon a hidden gift.

[Lest I seem to noble and pure, let me confess that I had plenty of other things I didn't mind looking for and sneaking around for: I found my Mom's old, teen diary and  read about her first kiss... EW!.  I found porn magazines in my parents' closet when I was probably around 10 and I brought it out to show the babysitter.]

So I peeked through the door and RIGHT BEFORE MY EYES I saw my new friend, 2XL !!!!  
He looked like he was about to get wrapped (for me!).  
Although I was sad to know in advance, I was still deliriously happy...  I couldn't WAIT for the morning when I would rip open the wrapping and get my BEST GIFT EVER!!!  (I knew he was about to get wrapped because all gifts from my parents were always wrapped whereas all gifts from Santa were never wrapped... Santa set them up and displayed them... as if he had taken the time to actually stop and PLAY with them a moment before moving on to the neighbors house and then the next continent).  I did not knock on the door.  I turned on my heel and crept back to bed, tense with anticipation.

The next morning exactly at 7:00 (we probably got up at 5:00, but we weren't allowed out of room until 7:00 and we were not allowed to wake up our parents until 7:00) we woke up Mom & Dad.  We bounced and tumbled down the hall and into the living room.  It looked like Toys R Us had exploded under the sparkling Christmas Tree!  

And then I saw it.
My stomach dropped.
My breath caught.
My world began to spin.


From Santa.

I could hardly enjoy him.
I went through the day like a zombie.
My mom had 2XL.
Santa gave me 2XL.
There was no Santa.
I had been so naive.
My parents had lied to me.

That was the day I stopped believing in Santa Claus.  

Running on Empty

I feel like my life as the wife of an alcoholic is one big roller coaster.  
One minute (literally) I am feeling good and looking forward to the future... I am grateful and excited and passionate.  
The next minute (literally) I am sad and grieving and hurt and lonely and bitter and hopeless.  
I long for a little consistency instead of being so at the mercy of my wacked out emotions.  

But I know God is going to use this season of running on empty for His glory and I am trusting Him to grow me and change me and scrape the yuckiness from me so he can look into my life and see Himself reflected a little more.   So I will walk through this valley if He wants me to.

If You Want Me To
By Ginny Owens

"The pathway is broken
and The signs are unclear
and I don't know the reason why You brought me here. 
But just because You love me the way that You do - 
I'm gonna walk through the valley
if You want me to. 

Cause I'm not who I was
when I took my first step
and I'm clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet. 
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You, 
then I will go through the fire
if You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
when you lead me through a world that's not my home. 
But You never said it would be easy, 
You only said I'd never go alone. 

So When the whole world turns against me
and I'm all by myself
and I can't hear You answer my cries for help, 
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through, 
and I will go through the darkness 
if You want me to. 

When I cross over Jordan, I'm gonna sing, gonna shout,
gonna look into your eyes and see you never let me down.
So take me on the pathway that leads me home to You
and I will walk through the valley 
if you want me to. 

Yes, I will walk through the valley if you want me to."

Click here to Listen to this song.

4 Things I Want To Do Before I Die

Go to Paris.
Go to Israel.
Get a novel published.
Act in a play or commercial or movie or TV show.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Worst of Both Worlds

I kind of have the worst of both worlds:

I am married but am all alone; I parent alone, I support the family alone, I sleep alone.

I am single, but can't date because I am married (see above).

I would prefer to be truly married or truly single.
Which shall it be Mr. M ?  
And why am I asking him????
Why do I let me whole future hinge on what HE says and HE decides?  Why can't I ask myself that question?  And answer myself and make a decision myself?  This is why I feel so paralyzed and like a victim.  Yet, I feel I am partially responsible for that.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Therapy Day 4.22.08

Last week I sat facing the parking lot in the waiting room as I waited for my appointment time. I saw a car race into the lot and wondered if that was my therapist (I have no idea what kind of car he even drives). I felt uncomfortable... sad. I had to ponder why. I realized it was because I pictured him at home, drinking coffee, playing with his kids, hanging out with his wife and thinking "Damn, I have to get into work... I'm going to be late." And he had to pull himself reluctantly away for work... and I am his work!  
I didn't want to be his job.

This week, I waited in the waiting room and the longer I waited, the more anxiety I experienced.  So we talked about my anxiety.  We talked about my desire to control Mr. M.  We talked about what boundaries are appropriate to set and what are manipulations.  
I feel Mr. M might be abusing his psych meds (gabapentin, generic for neurontin) and didn't know if it was my "business" to express this to him.  My therapist said a couple great things: He said I can be responsible TO people but not FOR people.  So yes, I can express a concern, because we are in a relationship... but I have to leave it at that.  Good stuff.  He also said that perhaps I could treat Mr. M with respect and ask if I could offer some feedback (or if he would like to hear some feedback).  then it is up to him whether he would like to hear it or not.  On the other hand, it is MY prerogative to not want to be around him if he is on the meds and seems out of it and I certainly do not need to be a party to helping him GET his meds.

We talked about how I LOVE my kids but hold myself back from loving entirely.  (He validated me by saying that as long as we are still alive, we will probably not be able to love FULLY - 100% -  because we are human and flawed, which made me feel a LITTLE better.)  Anyhow, I am SO aware that my kids have free choice.  They will ultimately choose who they are going to marry, whether or not I like them.   They may move out of state and have my grandbabies far away from me.  They may do drugs or get pregnant or have abortions or get tattoos or drop out of college or become "hippies" ;o) etc. and ultimately, I do not have ANY say over it, really.  So, I hold myself back, to protect myself, so I don't get hurt.  I have trouble giving myself over to truly loving because I am afraid of rejection and abandonment.  
So do I know how to truly RECEIVE love?  
No, not really, I answered.  
I hold myself back from receiving because I am afraid it will go away.
I shared how I devalue the care I receive in therapy; it is his job, he sees 8 people a day every day, I am limited to an hour, etc.
He said that may be how I try to make it less important to me, but that I DO experience care and DO receive love in therapy.
I said I wasn't sure about that.
He said he believed I did and that is why I do not want my session to end each week and why I cared that he was coming in and might view it as a "job".
Hmmm... interesting...

Monday, April 21, 2008

What I Like About Me

I am supposed to write a list of things I like about myself and keep adding to it as I think of new things.  
I thought this would be fairly easy, but I started to try to think of things and it made me pretty darned uncomfortable.  

But here goes:

I am fun.
I am funny.
I am personable.
I am easy to get along with.
I am smart.
I am friendly.
I make people feel comfortable.
I am attractive.
I am generally optimistic.
I work hard at being a good parent.
I work hard to live out my faith.
I love the Lord and He loves me.
I am a good writer.
I am a good speaker.
I have great ideas.
I am a visionary.
I am tender.
I am filled with grace.
I am honest and forthright.
I present myself with confidence.
I am a motivator.
I can inspire people.
I am earnest.
I am socially aware.
I have a lot of great ideas.
I am eager and excited to meet people.
I am willing to try new things, even if they scare me.
I am fun to be around.
I love to laugh.
I try to live authentically.
I share my struggles openly.

More as I think about...


Our church recently hosted a "Community Forum" with survivors of the Holocaust.  I was just watching the 2+ hour long video and it definitely got me thinking.  

My life and hurts are so small compared to what so many have suffered and are suffering;
Displaced people in refugee camps in the Congo, 
Rwandans who are still recovering from their genocide, 
Kenyans currently in the midst of civil unrest, 
Iraqis who have lived in stress and war all their lives, 
Orphans in every country, victimized and unprotected,
Widows with no means of supporting themselves, degraded in their culture simple for being women,
People all over the world dying from treatable illnesses resulting from a simple lack of access to clean water, 
Survivors of physical and sexual abuse, 
of course, the survivors of the holocaust,
and this list goes on endlessly.

I have to ask myself: what are MY hurts and sufferings compared to theirs?

And yet, I once had a therapist (Murray) who had worked, getting his hours for his LCSW, in a burn ward.  He told me that it was hard to get people with smaller burns (maybe 3rd degree covering one arm) to allow themselves to grieve properly when they were next to people with their entire faces burned beyond recognition.  
"How can I feel sorry for myself when there is THAT terrible suffering going on right next to me?  I should be grateful."  But Murray said that for the patient with the arm burn, it was equally necessary and important for them to work through their loss and pain and grief if they hoped to move on healthily.  

The holocaust forum addressed the issue of forgiveness and none of the survivors really had any answer.  Some said they didn't have the right to forgive... it was not their to forgive.  The dead were the only ones who had earned the right to decide whether to forgive or not.  And yet, I have read Corrie Ten Boom's book "The Hiding Place" and (because she is a follower of Jesus) got a strong and firm message of forgiveness.  (I will try to blog more about this at a later date.)

So, I have been left to ponder forgiveness when one has been hurt and wounded - at whatever level...  How one does that and what it looks (and feels) like.  I am striving to forgive Mr. M.  I am succeeding some and failing a lot.  I am still grasping very tightly.  I SO want something I can say or do to have the power to save him.  But I am learning (slowly but surely) that I have no power over him and his choices.  I ony have power over myself and my choices.  And I can choose to forgive.
Or not. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Next Husband

Maybe Mr. M will get and stay sober and be my first husband AND my next husband... or maybe this man will be someone else.

Sober or able to occasionally drink socially as a “Normie"
Handsome and sexually attractive - to me.
Sexually attracted to me – in various sizes, shapes, and conditions.
Will love me through thick and thin and tough times.
Will love me when I am afraid I am unloveable.
Is emotionally available.
Is willing to be loved and able to receive love.
Is willing to see his faults and make changes.
Has been broken and has done healing work.
Earns an excellent income - enough to support us to have the things we desire, travel, play, and be able to give our lives away (to widows & orphans).  (I would love to be able to quite my job.) 
Educated and smart.
Christ follower.
A reader and/or learner.
A good communicator.
Loves life.
Loves himself.
Believes life and God love him.
Will join me in my life’s work of serving orphans and widows.
Wants to go on mission trips.
Spiritual leader and head of the household.
More spiritually mature than me.
Exciting and enticing to be around. Magnetic.
Enjoys people and being social. 
Enjoys family and makes family a priority.
Enjoys travel and has time, energy, and money to travel.
Has integrity.
Likes children. Will be a good grandfather.
Loves to laugh (in a healthy, appropriate way).
Masculine. Manly.
Likes my children and my children like him.
Loves my children and my children love him.
Likes the ocean and beach. Desires to live on the beach.
Likes the theater and fine dining.
Good manners.
Good grammar.
Enjoys entertaining, wants to entertain, willing to use resources to entertain.

Blogless (in Seattle?)

It's been a long time. 
A lot has happened.  
I wish I could've blogged about it, but I didn't.  My heart was broken and I couldn't even bother to make dinner for the kids each night, so blogging was waaayy down on the priority list. Bummer.  Now that I am coming out of it a little, I WISH I could read what I would have written about it.... because it is another piece of the truth of the alcoholic marriage.  But I can't go back in time, and self-flagellation will not change anything, so I will just pick up from where I left off.  I still don't have any readers, so no one really missed me yet... but I missed myself... and maybe one day, when I HAVE readers, they too will miss this chunk of time and wish they could've read what I would've said.

Mr. M went off the deep end again (gasp!).  He ran away from his program (this is incorrect, he actually stumbled away or shuffled away and possibly even staggered away, but I am pretty sure there was no running involved).  He ended up being found by the police LAYING ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD (a very public road, I might add).  He was put up in a hotel for a night but was so intoxicated the following morning that he could not check out or pay, so the police had to be called (again).  He was soooooo far down... his bottom is soooo much lower than I could have anticipated in my worst nightmares.  Now that I could actually picture my prayers for his death being answered, not only was I really, pretty sure I didn't want him to die, I also GOT (in my deepest, most dense and stubborn part of my brain and heart), that I didn't get a say, one way or the other.  For - I think - the first time in my life, I truly, deeply understood that I am not in control (of anything other than myself)!

It has been a dark - but necessary - couple of months.
I am coming out of it.
Mr. M has a little over 30 days sober.  We may not have him tomorrow, but we are enjoying him today.
I may not stay married to him tomorrow... but today, I believe I will.
I still fantasize about meeting and marrying someone else and starting fresh and new... but don't give it as much power or weight any more.
I have unclenched my fist today and I FEEL a little less angry, scared, and brittle.

I look at myself in the mirror every day and tell myself I love myself.
"I love you, me" I say sincerely, looking deeply into my eyes "I really love you."  
(I don't think I totally believe me yet, but I am working on it.)

I also have 3 things I am praying for and SEEING happening to me:
I am SEEING myself thin and fit and healthy (not to get a man to love me, but so I feel healthy and good about myself).
I am SEEING myself earning $160k a year (not THAT much further to go... well, OK, it's a ways, but seems do-able!) and being financially free and able to tithe cheerfully and give generously - whether Mr. M is in the picture or not.
And SEEING my marriage miraculously restored.  (I am going to believe God for it... and both God and Mr. M are going to do what they are going to do).

I am also choosing to be GRATEFUL for Mr. M's alcoholism and this whole journey.  I am a grateful Believer who BELIEVES God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do.