Thursday, April 16, 2015

pain?

I keep waking up every day with random different aches and pain. I KNOW it is the trauma, seriously I feel like an old lady. So today I looked up the metaphysical reasons for my pain...
Neck pain: this situation is a "pain in the neck" and my needs are not being met.
Middle back pain: guilt- I always have guilt when setting boundaries.
Upper back pain: holding back love and feeling unloved or unsupported emotionally..
Shoulder pain: weight of the world on your shoulders (I actually even said those words exactly recently)
Finally the Left side which hurts more than the right: left side represents your past, your emotional self, memories and pain. Bingo to all of these... Now what?
Louise Hay councils to have a positive affirmation for each of these. Like,
This situation is a pain in the neck, converted to something like-i receive all that comes to me. I seek Gods will.
Or "I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders," converted to "I am fully supported by the universe in the things I am experiencing."
Then I guess I will just keep doing yoga and feeling all my feelings with an open heart....

Sunday, April 12, 2015

out- but i'm guided

Saturday: Sobbing, I say, "I don't feel like you are doing enough in your recovery."
He asks, "Have you just felt that way today?"
I respond, "yes."


Sunday the sun comes up, its a bright new day.  Everyone scurries to get ready for church.  The kids get to wear their matching Easter outfits to church. Church is painful, anytime someone is under any form of discipline, it is painful of course.  Even for the wife, it is painful.  But we talk about it.  We both share our feelings.  Beautiful things happen at church.  A friend prompted the Bishop to call H into his office to offer him a blessing.  The talks are touching.  People are loving.  We get home, lots of open, honest talking happens.  LOTS.  I feel fear and anxiety for him, but just because it's hard to watch him go through pain.  Not because I think he will view porn.


We barbeque and set up the kiddie pool in the back yard.  All the outdoor furniture comes out.  We're laughing and having a good time.  We even play a game at dinner, "I'm thinking of something" and it had to be gospel centered.


We had a clean up "party" afterwards.  Cleaned up all the dishes and the kitchen and kitchen floor as a team.  Bathed all the muddy children.  And I headed off to my meeting.  Leaving my perfect happy little family to go do recovery work. 


Why am I going to this meeting? Because the Bishop, on Wednesday, told me that he felt prompted to ask me to begin attending this meeting again, which requires that I stop attending my online Healing Through Christ meeting (they are at the same time).  So, in order to be obedient to God's will, I went to the local Family Support Group meeting. I told myself, while I was there, I repeated over and over, "I am here doing this for Heavenly  Father. I am here doing His will." 


While I was at my meeting, H relapsed.....
 in the home......
in the same room as the kids......
The 5, 3, and 1 year olds. 


A longstanding boundary that I have maintained, is very simple.  If you must view porn, view it somewhere else.  Any porn brought into the home will result in immediate separation.  As a matter of fact, in February I was out of the home for the weekend with some WOPA's. I got some anxiety about what he might be doing while I was gone, and I called him and told him how I was feeling.  Then I just briefly reminded him that the consequences for viewing porn in the home were that he would be out.  It was kind of a joke at that point because shoot, he was so close to his year mark of sobriety, I really didn't suspect that he would be viewing porn.  He wasn't, THEN.  But today, he did.  And now, he is sleeping at his mom's.  I am in shock.  Total shock. 


I called my home teacher right away.  I asked him to come over and bless our home.  He is brand new to us.  He just brought cookies just 2 weeks ago and announced that he is our Home Teacher.  Well, tonight, he faithfully answers the call and shows up. I ask him to cast out evil spirits and ask for divine protection on myself and the children.  Then my husband comes out and just lets him know.... EVERYTHING.  Just tells him everything. 
Well, turns out he is an addiction therapist.


Who knew?


God knew, people. God knew.




He blessed our home, then I asked for a blessing, then H asked for a blessing.  Then the men left. And here I am.  I am in total shock.


But the most painful part of our last separation was how I lost the ability to feel the Spirit.  And wouldn't you know it, the first words out of his mouth for my blessing were,
"I bless you with the ability to feel the Spirit."


Okay Heavenly Father, I know you are here.  I know you know me. I know I am guided.  I know where I stand.  I know who I am. I know that I love my children and that they need me.


I just don't know anything else.  Not another thing at all, actually.

Monday, March 30, 2015

shame: lock the backdoor

I've been free from the heavy weight of shame for some time now.  Im not sure how long, but for quite some time.  When I got the bomb this month, I was still showing up to life beautifully until last week.  Last week it all became unbearable.  I ended up full of trauma and I was trying to do it on my own.  I didn't want the pain and so, in the back door, snuck E.D...... my wonderful lifelong companion.  I was running on adrenaline and hunger and keeping busy.  And I was trying to pretend it wasn't happening.  Along with E.D. shortly followed all my old coping behaviors. And by Friday I was full of shame. I didn't want to have to face what I was doing because then I would have to look at ME again and not just focus on the pain that H has caused me.
Image result for back door
I didn't make any conscious decisions to stop eating as much. I didn't make any conscious decision that I didn't want to face my stuff. I didn't make any conscious decisions to start hiding my behaviors from myself and everyone around me.  It literally just SNUCK IN THE BACK DOOR!

But it was a beautiful thing.  I picked up my step work, I recently finished step 6 and am just beginning Step 7: Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove my shortcomings. And I couldn't even comprehend what it was saying! I wasn't in the right mindset and I felt too much shame.  And that is when I realized!!

I am trying to do this alone!

On this path Heavenly Father CAN'T even help me change to continually be ready to have my character weaknesses removed.

If I am really humble and sincere about my step work, I have to do something different.

So I reached out. I contacted my sponsor. I told her that I needed to start checking in on food again, and on my other weaknesses.  And I gave a little confession. And it was hard.

Speaking shame is hard sometimes, or maybe all the time.  But Brene' Brown says that speaking shame takes away all it's power.

And with total honesty, came freedom from the shame. It didn't come right away, but it did come.  

Something else happened too:

"I don't believe that we act out because we're defective or bad... whether we call them defects of character or our protective devices... They are the devices that once protected us but have now become self-defeating." (HTC manual step 6)

All my old tools came flooding in last week.  They used to protect me, especially from feeling.

Then last week, when I couldn't feel anymore, I kept talking to friends about it asking, "Is this normal!? why can't I feel?!"

In my past I had no tools to manage my emotions. But now, I do. I have a beautiful plan that was basically handed to me by God Himself! They have become my new constant companions. Emotions now, are comfortable and familiar and are kind of like my guiding stars to understanding myself and listening to that little voice within.

What once served me, has now become self-defeating.

So with the honesty, and the surrender of my weaknesses, and a re-determination to keep recovery from those weaknesses at the top of my priority list (SO HUMBLING), also came back the feelings.

Yesterday my last-Bishop's-wife asked me if I could stay after church just to talk with her and she would give me a ride home.  I was so grateful she offered, she has been trying to know how to help, without really knowing what is going on at all.  The moment I started talking, I started sobbing.  I sobbed through everything that I said. It was the sobbing where my whole body was shaking, as I tried to convey the whole last month's worth of pain. And it felt so good! I felt ridiculous too, its always hard to cry in front of people... But it felt so good to feel again. Like my whole body gave a sigh of relief.
Image result for surrender

Thank you E.D., Thank You P.S.A.S., thank you nail biting, thank you self-criticism.  You all showed up to serve me and I appreciate all that you have done for me to get me to this point. But you are no longer needed.  I am locking the backdoor!!! I have new, healthier ways of dealing with my life.  I am sure I will see you again, but for now, 

I am entirely ready to have God remove all my character weaknesses.
Image result for surrender
Image result for surrender
Image result for surrender

Thursday, March 26, 2015

it's all heavy now: angels and church discipline

I went through the last 2 days not really feeling much of anything.  I felt strong, ready for whatever is to come.  But lost all my intense emotions.  It was interesting, because I have determined to keep my heart open through all of this, so I guess I would skip the numb phase.

But last night I received ANOTHER disclosure and then H met with the Stake President and lost his temple recommend... and he can't take sacrament... and he isn't able to use his priesthood.

And now, I am feeling.

I have wanted this in the past. I have really wished that he would receive some disciplinary action through the church. I often said, "If the church had done it, I may not have had to." Which maybe is a twisted way of thinking about it. But I really think I may not have had to kick him out, and may not have needed that amount of separation for safety because I think he would've gotten more serious about recovery.  But now, here we are. Everything comes full circle. And it's almost like he HAD to experience this in order to reach his full potential.  It's almost like he is receiving discipline for ALL his actions, not just the ones that transpired in the last two weeks.  It's like he never fully gave it up, even though he was sober for a year this time.

It is hard to explain how I feel as a wife.  Because I have WANTED this.

But there is a little pride I think.  Even though his actions have ALWAYS warranted some sort of discipline (in my mind), I also am running up against the old expectation I went into the marriage with.  The idea that MY husband would NEVER lose his privileges.  I don't know if it is a pride thing, or just a disappointment at where we are. I had SUPER high expectations of us as a married couple and as a family when we got married. We talked about opening an orphanage. We talked about traveling to another country and doing some sort of service. We talked about non-profit organizations and conquering the world together.  But we are now minimized to this.  A young struggling family, living paycheck to paycheck, in survival mode for (lets face it) MOST of our marriage, and now my husband is back in the throws of addiction.

I have a lot of surrendering to do today.
Yogi Bhajan ... - @gabbybernstein- #webstagram

Most of all, I need to continually remind myself that none of this is really true.

The story I just told you about "Who" we are. "Who" I am.  It isn't really true. It is all part of this human experience.  But I am not just a human.

Yogi Bhajan

Last night before my husband got home, in between the disclosure and subsequent loss of temple recommend, my oldest daughter came tip-toeing out of her room. I asked her what she was doing. She said she was afraid, and she felt "alone". (She's 5, isn't that interesting for a 5 year old to know how it feels to feel "alone" even though the house is full of our family? and interesting considering that is EXACTLY how I have been feeling all week.) I went into her room with her and laid her back down. We talked a few minutes and then I told her I would sing a meditation to her while she went to sleep.  I did the "Ma" meditation, which is a kundalini meditation where, as it is said,
"Your soul becomes the child, and the universe becomes the mother."
In Mormon language, that means you get to connect with the divine Mother, or Heavenly Mother.  It really does help with loneliness. I really believe in her and I believe she is involved in our lives more than we could ever know.

As I sang this chant to her, immediately I felt like I had opened the veil to heaven, straight into my home. I felt like hundreds of angels, heavenly beings full of light, were coming into our home and filling up every room. I felt completely safe and completely NOT ALONE.  And my sweet daughter was asleep in moments.

I know who I am. And I am not afraid of my feelings.  I am a spiritual being going through a human experience.  And I have help.  Lots of help.










Friday, March 20, 2015

Abandoned

I had to be about 3 or 4 years old. Actually it may be my first memory ever! I woke up from a nap and came out into the living room. I remember the sun shining brightly into the house from every window. The whole house was silent and still.  "Strange...Mommy and daddy must be working on a project!" I thought, and I walked all around the house looking for them.  But they weren't there. So I went out into the garage to check daddy's office, still no one.  I went into the back yard, still no one.  By this time I began to panic and felt so much fear.  I went out the back fence and around the other side of the house and still never saw anyone.  I checked in camp trailer door, it was locked, so no one was in there.  I went back to the garage and the car was there.  And that is the end of the memory.  I have asked my mom about it, and she swears it never happened. It doesn't really matter because figuratively, it did. Spiritually, emotionally, and physically I would be abandoned by my parents throughout the next several years of my childhood.  

I have had real abandonment issues throughout my life.  I have only recognized them recently as I have been working to keep my heart open and recognize my samscaras (or deeply ingrained habits).  

But it doesn't change the fact that every time my husband chooses his addiction, he abandons me.  And I feel those same raw, vulnerable feelings from my near-infancy.  I just realized however, that I am kind of creating a greater abandonment than just my husband.  I have tons of love pouring out from every angle and yet I have thoughts like, "see no one really cares," and, "she only said that because..." and on and on.  It would be very easy for me to completely isolate myself actually!!  It is the default setting in my brain. 
It is my samscara:
"i have no real friends, no one in the world cares about me."  
It is a lie!! And it comes up ANY TIME I have feelings of abandonment.  
It is my habit, it is my pattern, it is a deeply held, FALSE, core belief.  

So every time I have seen it the last few days I just say to myself, "no that's not true."  But I found myself feeling worse and worse and worse.  I was talking back to my ego with my ego, as they would say in yoga. I was "trying to solve the problem with the problem," as my yoga instructor would say.

So this morning, in talking with a friend, I realized this really is my little girl within me crying out in abandonment.  

So every time I tell this thought to shut up, it is like I am telling her to shut up. Instead, I need to listen to the message BEHIND the mind chatter...which is her, crying out, feeling abandoned and all the feelings that come with feeling abandoned.  

The most valuable lesson I learned when I went to the E.D. counselor for the first time was that we parent ourselves the way we were parented. It is my default to abandon myself.  It is my default to neglect self care.  And even though I have actually done alright on self-care from the outside, looking in, I actually haven't taken time to just be with her.  To just be with me.  To just listen to my own feelings and just be.  There is so much pain right now.  But now, it is time to just be. To even put my hand on my heart and ask her, "what do you need, little girl?" I have gotten out of the habit of doing that frequently.  

I go to yoga tonight, then have a weekend planned for self-care. I am grateful for the things I have learned so that I can really make the best use of my time this weekend and do some of the hard things that I need to do.  

I feel depressed, sad, mad, numb, all of it at any given moment of every day right now.  And husband is busy working out his own salvation and figuring out where he stands, so for now, I turn to others and to God to let these emotions flow through me and to keep my heart open.

Image result for little girl all alone

Image result for little girl all alone

Image result for little girl all alone

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Gladiator

She is a warrior.  Upon first discovery of her trade, she felt completely inadequate.  "A warrior?" she questioned, "Me?"

Nevertheless, it was true.  She was destined to become a warrior, and now she must be trained.  Training required much sweat. tears, even blood at times.  She gave it her all. she trained with all her might.

She was trained by the best of them.  It was no doubt that she was destined to become one of the best warriors in the land.  Her training surprised her, however, when they told her that the greatest work she would do, would be the work of her mind.  

With God by her side, guiding her every path, she took this training extremely seriously.  "If I must learn to train my mind to be a valiant warrior, then that is what I will do," she thought with great determination.  She progressed in great strides. In leaps and bounds she grew.  

As the day of her unveiling approached, she learned that many family members and friends would be by her side and that some would even, to her astonishment, be in the arena with her.  They would literally fight alongside her! "Who?!" she asked.  But that answer could not be given.  No announcement could have been greater to her, because of one person.
  
Him.  

She couldn't have been happier, she hoped with all her greatest hopes that He would be in the arena with her, fighting alongside her.  She imagined his bravery, his masculinity, his glowing golden hair and she beamed.  Quite often just the thought of Him, and the great fights he had fought, gave her the added strength needed to complete the days training.  Oh how she longed to be close to Him again... Though she knew that now was not the time because now was the time for her to focus on herself.

Finally, the day came.  

She would be unveiled as the greatest Gladiator in the land.  And of course, with such a claim, she would have to be tested and tried in the arena.  

She was filled with great anticipation for the signal which would be given very soon. It was her time to shine.  She was fastening her armor and began wondering about her opponent.  Who would it be? What would they be like? Would she be strong enough? 

She remembered her training, how the greatest work she did, was the work on the mind.  She concluded right then and there that she would not concern herself with fears that she had no control over.  

But suddenly, she was being shoved onto the arena! "Wait!" she exclaimed! "Stop shoving me! I haven't finished fastening my armor! The signal hasn't been given! Why are you shoving me?!"

As she stepped out, onto the arena, nothing could have completely devastated her more than what she saw.  She didn't have a chance to notice the the large audience cheering.  She didn't have a chance to notice the crystal blue sky.  She didn't have a chance to even acknowledge her family and friends with her, ready to fight with her in the arena.

 Her heart stopped beating for a moment, her blood ran cold, as she looked across the arena at the opponent.

It was Him.


H went back into full addict mode. He lied for a full week about his nearly daily behaviors.  I am completely devastated.  In one week he was coming up on a year of sobriety. The disclosure came last night.  Followed by a conversation full of defense this morning.  prayers needed please.  

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

new video

http://addictionrecovery.lds.org/spouses-and-families/videos?lang=eng&prefs

such a good video for spouses of addicts.

Love these women.

Friday, March 6, 2015

DETACH DETACH MAYDAY MAYDAY

I can't see anything clearly. I haven't been  keeping up on my DELIBERATE self-care.  All I can  see are his weaknesses.  I have no sense of reality!
I humbly recognize that my life is unmanageable
I have hope that the Savior CAN restore me to complete spiritual and emotional health
I am  really trying hard to give my will to the Lord.
I have inventoried all my weaknesses and confessed them.
I am  ready to have God  remove all my character weaknesses.
I pray humble that God WILL remove all my character weaknesses in His timing.
I always strive to know where I need to make amends and make amends where it is possible and appropriate.
I  check in daily with God's love for me.
I pray always to know God's will and to have the power to carry it out.
I share the hope that I receive with others and I continue to practice in all that I do.

I am important. I am valuable. I am worth taking time for.  I am!!
Detaching while honoring myself and my feelings is so hard.  And it is sometimes so hard to honor my feelings without diving into them.
It is also so crazy how when I cling to everything in my past, and worries of the future, I completely ignore the little girl within me.  All her needs go unnoticed and seem less important because I am in fight-or-flight response.  I HAVE TO GET OUT OF THAT!! I am not my own enemy.   And the worst part is the tape in my head that keeps saying, "you know better than this, you know better than this."  It doesnt help the situation at all.
I have to let go of the program I have created off stress, and anxiety and the constant feeling of "OVERWHELMED".

Now that I have written this.  I am going to go do yoga.
I had to be accountable somewhere that I was no longer holding on to my husband and our problems and I am now clinging to myself and my Heavenly Father.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

No more fun!

This last week has felt like a breath of fresh air.  My entire life looks different to me now.  Everything looks more beautiful, more fun, more bright, more positive.

A group of some of my most favorite WOPA's came to visit and we had a fantastic time. They each are so unique and special to me in different but similar ways.  We laughed our butts off. I haven't laughed that hard.... since maybe EVER!  Because they are WOPA's, I feel COMPLETELY safe with them, which is the most refreshing feeling.  They can make jokes and I can joke back.  We can run around and be childish together.  They can make dirty jokes and references and I love it.  It was so much fun.

My normal life is not like that.  I don't feel safe.  I don't have fun.  I have always felt like I am too childish so I never let loose, I never feel like I can just have fun.  I am always judging myself as irresponsible and therefore don't let fun carry on for very long.  When my children laugh loudly I have to take deep breaths to get myself not to scream for it to stop, it gives me anxiety.  When my husband wrestles with the kids it gets loud and rowdy and I get busier and busier cleaning or bettering the home and think in my head of all the ways he could be helping me instead of making a ruckus.  Plus, my husband is DEFINITELY not allowed to make dirty jokes and references! I would be a triggered mess and assume his references came from porn. barf.  Also, I have spent a lot of my life being so extremely self conscious.  In high school I can remember trying so SO hard to be funny.  I always felt like it was forced and I was the dull one of the group.  I would try so hard, and then get these looks, like, "did. she. actually. just. say. that.?"  I remember going to a completely wild sleepover at a friends house where her parents weren't home and girls and boys had been invited (yes, I had a WILD streak in my childhood!) And everyone ran around playing games and laughing and wrestling like we were all 5 years old again and I absolutely DID NOT KNOW HOW to be 5 years old again.  It was SO awkward, as I sat there alone, desperately wishing inside that I could just play, JUST PLAY!!! But I couldn't, there was no play in there.  I was in situations like that fairly often because I chose one friend to be my best friend and looking back, it was specifically because of her bubbly, fun, crazy personality.  She was everything I wanted to be.  I never knew that then, but now I can see it so clearly.
To go back even farther, I really was never allowed to be a kid! Well, that isn't entirely true, I felt very safe as a child until I was about 6.  Dad and mom started screaming at each other all the time.  Then mom got sick, and addicted, and never recovered. Then dad had an affair. Then mom became disabled and moved out. It was constant chaos from then on.  I spent most of my time shoving down the child within me and being as grown up as I possibly knew how.  I can remember being told, "you're such a spaz," or "calm down," or "be quiet," or "you're too loud!"  Which just further reaffirmed my need to kill my true self and conform to what I thought I should be.  At age 12, when my dad died in my arms, a piece of me died.  It was my child.  Any part of her that was left now completely died.  I was now an adult.  I would move in with my Aunt and Uncle, pay rent, pay for all my clothing, accessories, toiletries, food, even my portion of the heater bill.  I cried myself to sleep for a year after that.  My dad always used to tuck me in. I became suicidal for that entire year.  Any expression of emotion, I got in trouble for.  My uncle would get in my face and scream at me and poke me in the chest hard.  I dont know what he was saying, but the message I received was "tell that child to SHUT UP there is no room for her here! If you want to live here you have to be emotionally stoic!  You DO have to kill yourself, kill THAT PART of yourself."   That was the message.  So from then on I began to rely on the Lord, who I could cry to and never be judged for.  And all my stored emotional energy came out in unhealthy ways.  Nail biting, weird quirks and tick, and the PSAS disorder that I developed.  (Can I just say, I have so much compassion on my younger self?  She really REALLY just did the best she could.)

So back to last weekend. Here we are, its been a full 12 hours of laughing our butts off and making everything into a joke.  And all of a sudden, I am bawling.  I have no idea why, at the time.  And everyone is kinda concerned.  I didn't know what to say except "its a good cry I think!" and, "I cant believe I am bawling!"  What was happening? I was having so much fun, that I became completely overwhelmed with it.

I had become completely overwhelmed with the safety, the laughter, the fun, the freedom I felt.  

I haven't felt that good since I don't know when.  And something shifted in me.  Right then and there.  
haha!
This week I got back onto a website that I had studied quite a bit several years ago.  Carol Tuttle and her energy profiling system.  Everything pointed to me being a type one.  The bubbly, happy, life-of-the-party personality type.  But I have suffered with depression and stoicism most of my life!! I was sure I had to be a dominant type 3 with maybe type 1 as my secondary.  But this week I learned that actually that is switched. I am a dominant type 1, with a secondary type 3. And I have never been able to live true to my natural energy because I have always shut down my inner child.  

So this week we bought a whoopee cushion. 

I took all my kids into the gas station just to buy candy bars.  

And we stuck rotini noodles in our noses.  

We have danced, and sang almost the whole week.  

And you know what? We have still gotten everything done that a responsible adult needs to do.  And we had fun while we were doing it too! I feel free and alive.  And everything looks beautiful and exciting.   This morning I woke up and almost jumped out of my bed!  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Triggered by GQ

Have you seen the new GQ article floating around called 10 Reason's You Should Stop Watching Porn?  (No that is not a link, because I would never send someone there so easily.  If you really want to go read the article I'm sure you can find it.)  It is a reason to rejoice, I mean there are 10 reasons according to GQ, a raunchy men's magazine, on why men should stop viewing porn. And the reasons actually don't come from GQ, they come from scientifically researched facts.  The whole article is triggering but the worst part is the picture that came with the article.  Don't even let your mind go there. It's enough to send anyone in "WOPA land" into a full PTSD attack.  Which it did with me, as well.

I think the difference between PTSD THEN (a year ago) and PTSD now is just that I know how to manage it better, I am more practiced at it.  It is still just as intense, horrific, hellish... But I know it when I see it now.  I call "black", "black"and I don't think it is my whole world.

So I saw the article. I chose not to read it because of the picture.  But then I chose to read it because of the title.  So BAM, triggered by the picture.  Then double BAM triggered by the whole article, which basically gave a worlds view on a worlds problem.  UGH!

1st.
I said, literally outloud to myself, "Whew I have been triggered. Oh boy here we go... This is not ME, it is just energy flowing through me."
I walked outside. I decided to go check the mail and get the garbage can and bring it in.  The brisk air and sunshine were much appreciated. (recommended by all the experts to bring us to the present moment..) But then,
The image and article came back.
So,
2nd.
I looked at a travel brochure I got in the mail.  Excited to look at these neat places it was featuring, and dream of myself traveling to some faraway land, I though it seemed like just the few minutes of self-care I needed. Somehow the Mariott travel brochure (completely SAFE and trigger-free) seemed to be talking about porn (in my mind) with words like "instant gratification", "exotic locations".
So then
The image and article came back.
3rd. I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father I have been triggered and I cannot do this alone. I asked for help... please?!!
4th.
I decided to do some yoga since my babies are all sleeping.  I couldn't get my "favorites" playlist to even show up on youtube and then I started thinking, "maybe my husband messed with it, maybe he.... maybe..... and maybe....." At which point I ended up whimpering with a few tears, and raging mad with HEAVENLY FATHER for not helping me to get my music to play because I am triggered!! (I hate that I go THERE with Heavenly Father! Seriously, it is SO NOT His fault!!!)
So I resorted to some pandora channel and started to do my yoga.
No sooner did I get myself into a forward fold, realized my jewelry would be wacking me in the face if I didnt take it off, and for some reason there, without rhyme or reason,
The image and article came back.
5th. I persisted in my yoga and only did about 10 minutes.  Feeling like maybe I could just relax at this point and do a little meditation, I lay down on my back and got comfortable... and there were that stinking image and article again!!!
so this time I
6th.  Imagined them both floating down a river far far away from me.  I did a few Kundalini yoga chants and thought about how much peace I felt in that moment.  (Particularly this time I did Hum Dum Har Har for anyone who is interested, it is a heart opening chant.)

And then I decided to
7th. Write this all out in a blog post.  Which truthfully stirred it all back up, because I had to recount it to you, but I feel like it is all still leaving me as I release a lot of the negative energy through my fingertips and onto this post. I do this with the hopes it will help someone.  For one, my husband has almost been sober a whole year.  I've been  committed to my own recovery from PTSD for about one year as well.  So I thought it might be helpful for others to see what trauma attacks look like in me, in this time frame, for me.  When I was starting out, I would've wanted to know what it was like for someone one year down the road.  I would've wanted to know it gets easier. I would've wanted to know that I was normal to still experience episodes one year down the road. At 6 months I would've wanted to know I was still normal to get triggered.  I would've liked to know that the work would all be worth it.  Because in the beginning, none of the tips and tricks worked at all for me.  I also tried ALL the tricks all the time, so here is a list of 7 tricks for you to try. Hope one works. Or try them all! Hope at least one works...

All the time and effort we pour into self-love and self-care is ALWAYS time well spent.  Always. 
Even if it comes as a result of a PTSD Betrayal Trauma Trigger.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Journal entry, 12 years old

By chance I found this old journal today.   I had a moment of quiet tonight and decided to open it up.  The only entries are from the summer of 2000 when my dad got cancer and I went to girls camp with my Mormon friends, ended up having to move in with my Aunt and Uncle and say goodbye to my dad.

"Dear Journal,
From now on I am going to keep this... My dad has cancer and there is no treatment for it.  The only way he'll be able to live is if a miracle happends... and it's really hard to keep faith in something that don't seem real.

My dad is the only one who keeps me running, morning noon and night. Without him and God I probally would've already killed myself by now.

My mom...  Well I don't really have one.  Yes she is alive, but she is abusive. I cannot end up living with her.

My daddy will spend his last days, trying to get anyone else than her to have custody of me.

My dad can't have any more fun in his last days... He is too miserable, and in  pain, and stress over me and my mom.

I love daddy so, so, so, much that if he dies I could just give up  too.  Infact, I would like to before then."
_________________________________________________________________________________

My next entries were about the girls at camp.  It just occurred to me today that girls camp probably saved my life that year.  There was drama, I was right in the middle of it. Of course I was, I needed the drama to keep my mind occupied so I didn't have to think about my life.  The next page was my activity sign-off.  I learned about fire, knots, singing, cleaning up, cooking, and first aid.  The next page is a drawing of the testimony hand (oops correction, testimony GLOVE).  I learned:
God is our loving Father in Heaven.
Jesus Christ is our Savior.
Prophet Joseph Smith translated the book of Mormon.
The LDS church is Gods church.
Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley (of the time) receives revelation.


These teachings were the only hope I had to go on. This is completely amazing to witness!
_________________________________________________________________________________

My next entry included a quote that I glued onto paper from camp.  

and another quote about standing strong.  How much I needed  that inner strength in the following year.  Who am I kidding, in the following....REST OF MY LIFE!!

The last entry was about the girls at camp.  That is it. The rest of the journal is blank. 

I remember that camp.  The part I remember most was testimony meeting.  My friend I went with was born and raised in the church, a middle of 9 kids.  She was shy and wasn't too sure about bearing her testimony.  After several girls had gone up finally I asked her,  "Hey, what is this?" She said,  "Oh it is a testimony meeting.  People just get up there and talk about what they know is true, or what they believe." I sat there for what felt  like forever with my stomach in knots, I wanted to bear my testimony too!!!  Finally I decided, I was going to do it.  I stood up  by the fire, took the microphone when it was my turn and told the whole camp that I was really glad to be there.  That it was a hard decision to come because back at home my dad was dying from cancer.  But I knew I should be there, and that I believe in prayer and God and Jesus and we were praying for a miracle. I didn't cry. I just said it all.  I remember my best friend who brought me, she always admired how bold and unafraid I was.  After that people treated me differently.  They were nicer to me.  But I didn't like it, because it was a reminder that my dad was dying back at home.  

The day of daddy's funeral I had planned to speak.  I asked the same best friend to come and stand with me while I read my talk and be willing to read it for me if I got emotional.  She had a really hard time committing to anything and wouldn't give me a yes or no answer until the day of the funeral. And her answer was "no" out of fear. So, I got up and read my speech alone.  I felt so utterly and completely alone from that-time-on, 12 years old, until just last year.  The wopa's taught me I am never alone.  I had learned to rely on Heavenly Father as well, but I couldn't understand His love until I felt it tangibly through my Wopa sisters.   

I have so much compassion on my younger self.  My goodness what she had to endure. She did the very best she could with the cards she was dealt, and she continues to do so now.  She tried to be a wise woman, she just did the best she knew how.  But now, I am learning, I have a real wise woman within me.  She knows how to care for herself and her children.  And the little girl doesn't have to try so hard anymore, she can just play and laugh and feel and its okay for her, she is safe because she has the wise woman to protect her and care for her. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

negative emotions = freedom

I've been talking to a lot of people lately about what I have learned through my trauma and through yoga about negative emotions.  I've never put all these thoughts together and decided I need to!

1.Our negative emotions serve us:
  Through doing my step 4 inventory I saw how each negative emotion that I had as a child in extremely painful situations, was actually there to serve me in some form or another.  The sadness came to teach me about myself and about my family and to bring me closer to God.  The feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and neglect were there to teach me to care for myself.  The insecurities were there to get me to question my worth and begin to define my worth to myself.  The confusion was there to alert me to always be aware of my surroundings.  The paranoia and distrust were there to keep me safe.  The anger was there to help me to take a stand for myself.  They mean different things to us at different times but really God gave us emotions for a reason.  If we look deep enough, we can find how they have served us.

2. Emotions are just energy.  We can't see them, we can't hear them, we can't smell them, but we can feel them.  They wash over us and we FEEL them, they are not imaginary.  They are energy. But as a child dealing with serious trials, I had emotions that I had NO IDEA what to do with.  So I just pretended that they weren't there. It was the only thing I knew how to do.

3. Stored energy doesn't sit still.  Heat up a bunch of electrons and anyone who ever took basic chemistry in school knows that they move faster and faster.  Cool them down and they still float around. They are constantly moving.  So is the negative energy that I stored up inside myself.  Constantly moving.  Which is why painful memories surface frequently, while I may be going about daily, ordinary, life, some painful memory just pops into my head.  And there are those emotions again.  And I think, and contemplate, and then for years I would just store it all away inside myself again.  Trying to pretend the negative emotions were not there, for fear that if I saw them, maybe they would consume me.  That protective mechanism also served me.  My body became flooded with negative emotions and therefore I developed all these nervous ticks and addictive habits just to have a release of energy out of my body.  Those nervous tics and addictive habits also served me.

4. Accept them. Also called, "letting the emotions flow through you."  Negative emotions are not to be feared, stored, harbored, coddled, they are to be identified, acknowledged, felt, accepted and released. Its like a warm sweater. We put it on too keep us protected from the cold weather.  We use it, and when we are done, we take it off.  So today I put on my anger sweater.  I wore it around, then when I was done with it, I took it off. When I am wearing that sweater, it doesn't become a part of me.  It just sits on my skin.  But it is not me.  So when I feel a negative emotion, I try to remind myself that I am not this negative emotion.  I am a divine spirit daughter of God with divine attributes and divine potential.  I am who I am.  And I am FEELING an emotion. (or I am wearing a sweater).  The feeling is like the sweater.  I put it on, I allow the energy to flow through me.  Then I identify where I feel it in my physical body.  Like a nauseous feeling in my gut, or tightness in my shoulders, or tightness in my chest, or low back pain, etc. It is there, so I find it.  Then I have a little talk with it.  "hello anger. Thank you for showing up to serve me.  I feel you,but I no longer need you." Then I take in several deep breaths and imagine that the air is rushing to the place where I identified the emotion in my body, to make MORE SPACE for the emotion to be there.  This is an act of acceptance and surrender.  We can't fight our negative emotions, we can only accept them and feel them. Then I tell them, "there now there is more space for you.  You can stay as long as you want."  If I truly mean what I say, and I have fully let go of trying to control the emotion but am now willing to learn from it, and even love it, it will go. That's when I get to release it.  Its counter-intuitive, I know.  But this goes along with the idea of keeping our hearts open, when we are open, we are humble, surrendering, accepting and energy is flowing freely.

5. Don't let your heart close.  This one has actually been very, very challenging for me.  I never had realized what a deeply ingrained default habit (called "samscaras" in sanskrit) I had created of just closing off my heart.  Sometimes when the trauma hits and there are so many negative emotions all at the same time, it can be all but impossible to keep my heart open. I just do the best I can.  When I let it close, I forget who I am, I think that the emotions define me and everything around me.  I can no longer see life through a clear lens and I am trapped in a prison of sorts until I am able to get it to open again.  And the emotions ARE in a prison, they are trapped and can't come out until I open my heart again.

6.  Letting Go.  Old stored emotions can now be processed and released.  With an open heart, and the ability now to let emotions flow through me, those random painful memories that pop into my head now become beautiful opportunities to let them go.   They continually popped into my head because the energy of the emotion was just trying to get out.  Now I know.  So when they come up, I go back to my steps for identifying and accepting. It is very freeing.

I am certainly no expert on much of anything really!! I am just a humble grateful student and it seems like Heavenly Father is doing all the teaching.  All these things have come to me through other people, resources, books, etc at various times that seemed completely random but ended up really serving me and helping me to manage the jungle of emotions that we all get to experience.  Our society is so anti-emotion.  I am sure it is out of fear (which protects them from the pain of feeling) but we don't NEED the protection.  We need to be free, like God intended us to be.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

~heart open~

Today my Yogis told me something:

never close off your heart

And of course I was thinking "this is insane." I was even thinking "if only you knew what I'VE been through." -like im the only person in the room who has ever experienced suffering.... I was also thinking, "I'm pretty sure closing my heart at times has really served me".

Were reading the book The Untethered Soul, there is a whole chapter on keeping your heart open. It talked about how energetically when you close off your heart you close off your energy and it makes you feel lethargic and also depressed.

Is that why I often feel I have no energy?

It even said that no matter your age, you have the same spring of energy welling up within you, but you can only access it with your heart open. This energy is accessible wether you've gotten enough sleep or enough food, its independent of those factors. Its the energy to be at peace, to accept, and to surrender with gratitude to your surroundings at all times (by doing so, surrendering to the Father). To have passion about life. To have deep abiding joy. And it claims that feeling this energy is almost entirely dependent upon keeping your heart open.

Have you ever felt that way? I have, and the prospect of living life like that again, sounds so incredibly beautiful.

So then I asked the group exactly how do you keep your heart open?

It's very simple,
 just don't let it close.



So you breathe you pull your shoulder blades down your back so that your chest is open and you say to yourself open heart over and over, in every place, situation, circumstance we find ourselves in.

But hasn't this mechanism served me, even protected me at times?They said we close off because we feel like it protects us but it actually only HURTS US.

 So last night I tried it at my in laws which is normally a painful place and instead of shutting down because of the pain I just kept saying in my mind.... open heart, open heart...and breathing... and letting the emotions just pass through me with the thought of acceptance.

I felt so much more peace and nothing else changed besides just more peace.

The few in laws who judge me or criticize me, remained the same. The in laws whose beautiful lives often bring up feelings of jealousy, still brought up feelings of jealousy.
The 14yr old who freaked out at my 3 yr old still caused feelings of anger, followed with feelings of compassion and understanding.
I felt, I didn't stuff or ignore. But I kept my heart open. Everything just passed through me and I came out a better person for it.

So try it.
Say to yourself
"Heart open, heart open"
Breathe deeply.
Imagine your heart open and shining with lots of energy.
Acknowledge the emotions, and then go back to "heart open".
And never stop.
Just never let it close.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

To be delivered October 10, 2013
Dear Lovely,
Today you have come to understand EXACTLY how an addict can fit the description the Savior gave when he says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me…” (1)  Your knight in shining armor, the Patriarch of your home, has just confessed to his double-life. This truly is the very depth of betrayal.  It feels as though the earth has literally fallen out from beneath your feet.  The Prophet Jacob said to husbands and fathers, “Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children… and the sobbings of their hearts ascend up to God against you…” (2)  I know you can relate when he tells them, “many hearts have died, pierced with deep wounds.” (2) The Lord knows the depth of your wounds, he has felt all your pain before you did.  Looking back I can tell you, the Lord has prepared you for this very time of your life.
You’ve devoted everything to your husband, children and Heavenly Father as a stay at home mother with 3 children, one just an infant.  You don’t deserve what you have received. I know you don’t feel like Heavenly Father is close, I know that the feelings of the Spirit seem so far away. You can’t help but replay in your mind all the horrible things your husband has told you.  Right now you are truly in the “mists of darkness,” (3) just like Lehi’s vision in the Book of Mormon. But Lehi was led by the Savior, and so are you. If there is anything I could tell you, it is this; I know God loves you, he is guiding you, and he hears and answers your prayers, even though you can’t feel Him.  I know you feel betrayed in your covenants, but Heavenly Father has never betrayed you. When you don’t know where to turn next, look to your covenants, you will find answers.  One step at a time, you will know what to do.
This isn’t the end, this is the beginning of a new chapter of your life.  You will discover a beautiful, strong, brilliant, and gifted woman within you. You will also discover the power of your story, you will help so many women because of your wounds.  Only you hold the power to take your life back.  So, cry, kick and scream, pour out your heart to the Lord, really feel all your feelings and as you do, you will learn to trust yourself.  You will find renewed strength as you “wait upon the Lord.”(4)  Your own healing will take all you’ve got, but you are worth it.  You are enough. With or without your husband, you will “mount up, with wings as eagles.” (4)  I love you, and this is not your fault.
Sincerely, Lovely

 1. Matthew 15:8
2. Jacob 2:35
3. 1 Nephi 8:23,24
4. Isaiah 40:31