Gaslighting vs. Reality

As always, I start with the warning that this will ramble as I sort through my emotions. This morning, I’m going back to my blogging roots.  

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a journal entry and the ol’ brain needs a good mental cleansing. I’m sure it’s due to the culmination of several things; Devin’s slip, this is the near the anniversary week of disclosure, and our wedding anniversary.  

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I discovered my husband’s addiction.  Seems like forever ago.  Seems like yesterday.  And, that is an odd place for my brain to be, but, with the help of a good old fashioned word vomit, I’ll be right as rain soon enough.  Plus, I don’t have high expectations of myself around this time.  Now is the time to be gentle with me and not rush healing.
 ***
During my talks with Devin about his slip, I asked if he knew the “why” of it all.  I was curious if he saw the same insight I did (the death of his dog) or if he was minimizing the event.  It wouldn’t be the first time he minimized a slip and while it’s common for an addict to do so, I wanted to know where his head was in all of this.

The first time we discussed it, he said there was no why.  It just happened.  I let that excuse slide because well, one: I was too drained to go into a debate, and two: I understood the shame he felt at the time and didn’t think it’d help matters to push him too hard.

When I broached the subject a few days later, he said it was human nature.  When I called BS, he hemmed and hawed, then I told him we’d have to agree to disagree at which point he said, “Well, you’ll just have to ask our counselor because she’s the one that said it was human nature.”  That didn’t sound like anything our rockin’ counselor would say and more like a need to feel right, but I agreed to let it go until then.

Then was yesterday. 

I spoke to our therapist and she said she’d never tell one of her clients with an addiction that a slip was human nature and too ignore the reason behind it.  She felt she may have said it was natural to have a slip, especially early in recovery, but so far in she felt he should have better clarity, control, and insight.

She asked if she could talk to him about his perception of “human nature” after their group last night. I agreed she could disclose our session.  On his drive home from group he told me about their brief conversation.  That call confirmed my suspicions that I’d been gaslighted by Devin.  For those not familiar with the term, it means to have someone try to distort or manipulate someone’s reality.

An example of this from our long ago past:  I walked into the room to find Devin looking at porn and masturbating. I saw this with my own two eyes.  But, Devin had the ability to convince that what I’d seen didn’t really happen.  By the time we finished talking, he had me believing it was my imagination.  All in my head.

Yes, it sounds utterly ridiculous (especially in hindsight) but when you live with an active addict, your mental perceptions become distorted through time and manipulation.  I asked our counselor yesterday if having experienced that made me hyperaware or hypersensitive to it – was I more likely to suspect gaslighting and prevent it or more prone to being manipulated?  She said it was probably a bit of both. And, I agree.

Being gaslighted is literally crazy-making.  It is a form of mental abuse.  Do I feel Devin sets out to make me feel this way?  No.  I think it’ something he learned along the way to cope with his emotions. It was also easier back then for me to believe his distortions of the truth than the reality of our marriage.

Having experienced gaslightedness (my word), I’m able to see it for what it really is, Devin’s first defense and a way for him to avoid thinking too hard about his slip.  

And, as I said earlier, having written this out, I feel better.  I know I’m not going to fall into the same pattern I was stuck in a few years ago. That terrible codependency or as I used to like to say, "survival mode" I experienced.  There’s been too much time, healing, and recovery for that to happen to me.  And, to him.

After the reminder of the trauma of this time passes, so will my feelings of unease.  And I think his recovery will take a turn for the better.  It always does.  I just need to give him a bit more time and a bit more patience and do the same for myself.




Thanks for taking the time to read this, my Hooligans.  I feel better getting those emotions out.  

I’m grateful to each and every one of you.  Now go on, enjoy your week and I’ll do the same.

Got any cool plans for the upcoming weekend?  I plan on digging in and getting some writing done.

J is for Journal: A-Z Challenge

J is for Journaling

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor
In high school I was introduced to the world of journaling. I wasn’t the best kid in high school, so when the assignment to write in my composition book every night was given, I was pretty pissed.  Did this lady think I was a writer?  

My teacher knew her stuff.  She inspired lost souls like me and taught me to use my imagination.  She explained how to brainstorm ideas.  The entry didn’t have to make sense, just let my brain take over and write for five minutes.  This became one of my favorite ways to journal.

She prompted me to look for sayings and use those as inspiration.  She said a creative picture was allowed from time to time, as long as I wrote down why I drew it.  She suggested trying my hand at poetry and quick thoughts for a story. Best of all, (at least at the time) I didn’t have to worry about spelling and grammar.  She graded only on creativity.

I still have my journal from her class.  I drag it out from time to time and love seeing her comments in the margins.

I continued to journal after I graduated her class.  It kept me creative. I also used it to process my thoughts and feelings.  When my husband’s sex addiction came to light, I hit that journal like a mad woman. Once I was finished, I tore the page from my notebook and threw it in the garbage.  The weight of my emotions going with it.

I took my journal and started a blog.  Some of you may remember the days of that first blog.  I warned you when it was a journal entry. I felt no one would read it unless they were effected by SA too.  Boy, was I wrong.  The support I received from my blogging buddies was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I wasn’t judged and it was beautiful.  You truly helped my recovery and healing.

I often wonder why so many of you follow my blog knowing what the core topic of it is but then I remember to be grateful instead.  Had it not been for those journals I posted and the love I received, I don’t think I’d be where I am today; in a happy, serene place with myself and my hubby.

Have you ever kept a journal?  If so, did it help? Did it inspire a story?

~~~@

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?





Holding Resentments - A Journal Entry

Here’s your warning, Hooligans:  This will be a meandering post. 

I have some clutter in my brain I need to clear. The best way for me to do it is through writing. I’m going back to the roots of my blog by writing a journal entry.

You’ve been warned.

I remember thinking a while back how life was when Devin was dealing with sobriety from sex addiction.  It was scary.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions.  But, it was rather predictable.  The fears and feelings were usually the same.  It allowed me to focus on my own recovery from his disclosure.

The road of emotional sobriety is harder to navigate for me.  I’m traveling a new path every few months.  The time between is blissful.  I have serenity.  We get along perfectly and the potholes aren’t nearly as deep.

This makes hitting a pothole a bit more unnerving. It takes more work than I expect to get me back on track.  That’s where I am today. 

After I finished writing my book, I shared the news with my husband.  He told me how proud he was and that was that.  I should be happy, right? 

Well, I’m not. 

Instead, I’m sad he never read my book.  He didn’t make it past the first two pages.  I shared it with him months ago, but still, he hasn’t read it.  It’s been one excuse after another.  Each time he promises to read it, I get my hopes up only to have them dashed. 

You’d think I’d learn but not so much.  We talked about how important it was to me that he read my work.  He’s my husband, this is what I do, I want him to be a part of it.  He apologized and promised to read it.  Over a week has past but, no go.  He hasn’t read it.

I held back the snarky comments I wanted to make.  Instead, I turtled up and withdrew from him.  Since part of his addiction is related to rejection, he also retreated. 

My recovery work fills my head with tons of slogans:

“High Expectations Lead To Resentment”

Are my expectations too high?  Perhaps.  As a recovering addict, I tend to want immediate gratification no matter what the circumstances.  In a “normal” marriage, this several months long request would be abhorrent. But, we are not your average couple. I have to remember he’s a people pleaser and a recovering addict. While I can hope he’ll sit and read my story, it’s not his nature to read anything that doesn’t pertain to his gaming hobby.  He hates it.

“Keep My Side of the Street Clean”

I need to take responsibility for my own actions.  Becoming distant, rather than expressing how I felt was immature and detrimental, especially knowing how rejection hurts Devin.  I need to let him know I’m hurt but do so in a kind and loving manner.

“The Next Right Thing”

I have a choice to make. I can do the right thing by focusing my attention elsewhere.  Perhaps writing a bit more in my non-fiction book or making a phone call to a loved one.  (As I write this, I’m texting with my brother, “just because”.)

“Let Go”

I need to examine what it is that makes me so upset that my request isn’t being met. I realize it may boil down to me not working.  I can’t work so writing has become my “job” even though I don’t make a dime.  It’s how I occupy my time.  I don’t sit and watch television, I write as long as my health allows me.  This leads me to think I may have some envy that Devin works and I don’t.  Or, maybe I don’t like feeling like I’m a burden to him.  This book is my proof that I’m still productive despite my illness.  That’s a lot to let go, but as I write, it’s obvious it needs to be done.

As with most of my journal entries, this one helped me see through the jungle of my emotions.  I need to be more compassionate with my reactions and not shut Devin out.  That only causes rejection issues for him.  I need to accept that he understands my health problems and doesn’t see me as a burden.  That’s all in my head. 

I also need to practice patience.  Emotional sobriety is tough.  It’s something we both struggle with.  We need to do navigate this terrain together.  It will only make us stronger. 

Add a Tool to My Toolbox


Here’s your chance my Hooligan’s, your chance to run to another blog.  This may turn out to be long only because I don’t know exactly where it’s headed.  It’s one of my “back to the roots” posts, where I allow my mind to journal and think.  At the end, fun!  I promise.
source

The other day, I did something I never thought I’d ever do.  I attended an AA meeting.  Wow, just wow.  From the moment I stepped out of my car to the moment I said good-bye, I felt welcomed, loved, and a sense of belonging.  It was truly amazing.

I don’t know why I feared anything different.  We treat newcomers to S-Anon the same way, yet I was still scared to attend.  I was afraid because I’ve been drug free for so long, they wouldn’t understand why I was there, but there was no inquisition.  No one asked why I was there. They simply accepted my need to attend a meeting.

I was greeted with a bright smile and hello in the parking lot and accompanied to the door.  I was welcomed to a table and invited to sit down.  The fear of cliques dissipated as I watched people go from table to table and hug one another, men and women alike greeted each other, introduced themselves, and got older attendees their coffee.  I was surprised to feel a smile on my face in a place I had been so nervous to be not even five minutes before.

For months I have been missing something.  Something inside me is no longer able to hang on to the peace and serenity I found after I worked my fourth step.  I lost my emotional sobriety and I miss it terribly.  I long for it back.

What is emotional sobriety?  For me, it’s being able to feel my feelings.  All of them and handle them properly, without a constant feeling of discontent and unsettlement.  It’s so hard to explain once you’ve reached a place of calm and that calm feeling has left.  It’s like having an empty pit within you.

I’m not running around screaming at people but the desire to do it is there.  It has happened a time or two with Devin where I’ve made snarky comments and that’s not healthy for either one of us.

I knew it had to do with Devin’s recovery.  He has reached a plateau, according to our counselor, and without a change in his treatment plan, he is in danger of another relapse.  His behavior has become erratic as he works his fourth step and while I understand this on a rational level, it’s hard to understand as the person living with him.  He understands the need for changes and he makes them but then reverts back to old habits. 

Instead of being able to distance myself, instead of finding the compassion I’ve had in the past as a fellow addict, I became frustrated and impatient.  I am more like Veruca Salt, I wanted it NOW!  I still stayed out of his recovery, I still stayed out of his collecting and buying habit but I no longer fight fairly.  I am allowing myself to be baited instead of walking away.  I am engaging in behavior that isn’t healthy for me.

I know I cannot change him.  Only he can change himself.  This meant something needed to be done for me.  There was something I needed to do, another tool I needed to add to my toolbox but I wasn’t sure what.  Then I realized I needed to address my core issues, sure, I was sober but I’m still an addict.

An addict who never addressed her addiction with any type of counseling or any type of program.  I just quit drugs cold turkey and considered myself magically cured.  It was through the S-Anon program that I realized it doesn’t work like that, not even close bub!

I chose that particular meeting because of the time and location and it was truly a God send.  I left feeling less empty inside.  My spiritual cup had been filled.  Not my religious cup, my spiritual cup.  There is a difference.  Again, hard to explain unless you’ve sat in on a meeting.  There is so much hope, so much love, so much understanding and so much compassion.  It’s like getting a giant hug and knowing you’re not alone.  Even though you don’t quite know what’s wrong inside, you’re not alone.

I’m not sure this made sense but I wanted to share it just the same.

Now for the fun stuff I promised.  I was watching my beloved Fox News and saw a highlight of the Harlem Shake.  Take time to laugh today, my friends, I did:

NSFW


To Let Go


Hello my friends.  I write today from my original blogging roots, a need to write to exorcise the demons that have crept inside my head.  It will be a journal entry, long and windy and probably not very well put together.  Will I even publish it?  Probably.  I always have in the past.
H.A.L.T. has gotten to me (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired).  I’m exhausted…I was hungry but I’m eating right now.  Some things are easily fixed.  I’m also angry although I’m not quite sure why.  I have some ideas and I think once I begin writing (aka rambling) I’ll have a firmer grasp on the real reason.

I had to reread some sections in my well-worn book, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse again.  Especially about detaching with love because I am struggling with it.  I am finding it easier to either erect a wall and retreat into silence so I don’t say something I’ll regret or go in the opposite direction and make sharp comments. 

I have lost my ability to remain neutral the last few days.  I have lost my ability to remain patient for an entire conversation.  I am tired.

I feel like I am engaged in a bizarre waiting game with Devin.  Only, it’s not Devin I’m in the waiting game with, it’s the not-so-new aspect of his disease.  He’s not acting out in a sexual way, of that I’m certain.  There is no porn, no cheating, no masturbation…instead, the red flags are showing themselves in other places. 

Now that I have chosen this mode of detachment, I can see it clearly, as an outsider looking in, and I see his life is unmanageable.  I think this is why I am angry.  I can’t decide if I’m angry at myself for wanting to reach in and help him or I’m angry at him for not seeing it for himself.

We sat down the other night and had a heart to heart talk about my fears regarding his buying habits.  I was careful not to use the term “shifting addictions” but I did ask if he saw it as a problem.  He feels he is better than he was a few months ago then I let him know that he wasn’t forthcoming with me about how much he’s spending on his gaming hobby each month.

He explained his reasons for his hobby and why he continues to buy the models/figures although he doesn’t play anymore.  He feels he has lost so much of his identity over the last few years, this is the last piece of himself he has left and by visiting gaming sites and buying figures, this makes him feel connected to the gaming world. 

This explanation did two things for me.  First, it helped me understand he is in denial about how much he spends moneywise and timewise on gaming or that he has a problem at all and second, he’s not ready to face it yet.

I know in my heart he heard me.  He understood what I was telling him when we spoke that night at our kitchen table because he asked if we could go see our rockin’ counselor together next time.  Unfortunately, she cancelled both of our appointments this week and we don’t see her until December but that’s okay.  We’ll survive.

Since I started detaching from him a few weeks ago, he’s done the storm door, did a small (very small) amount of work in the spare room, helped in son's room, and then after the discussion about him spending money on his hobby he went out and bought a new bed set for son…I had to think about that one for awhile. 

My first impulse was to be angry but once he put it together he spoke about how happy son will be he said, “Plus, when I snore, you can sleep in here and I’m going to get a better mattress for it too.”  So, I think it was his way of showing me he doesn’t just buy stuff for him?  I don’t know…either way, it’s a great bed set.

So, why am I angry?  After typing this out…I’m not anymore.  I am married to an addict.  This is part of the addict special package (it’s in the fine print on the marriage contract) and if I am going to stay then this is the kind of stuff I need to work through – on my own and with him. 

Or, maybe I’m all angry inside because I’ve been away from Blogger for so long?


Elsie Tripped While Climbing The Steps


I’m going to tag this post as a Journal Entry and be nice and give you guys, my Hooligans, the “Danger! Will Robinson! Danger!”  alert.  Elsie is setting out to type a long and rambling piece of some sort….

This is my sixth or seventh attempt at trying to write this post and I can’t quite find the write (see what I did there?) way to “frame” it.  Instead, I’ll just journal it from the heart…like the old days.

Yesterday was a big day for me.  I completed my fifth step.  This means I took my fourth step and presented it to someone I felt I could confide in.



         Step 4.   Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5.   Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

After I completed my fourth step, I felt happy, I felt a sense of completion because I had been working on it for so long.  I had worked through a ton of mental crap.  I drudged up a lot of painful memories, some from my childhood, some from my teen years, some from my time with my first husband, then while being a widow and now, my most recent pain, being married to a sex addict and all that pain that comes with it. 

I picked apart each piece, examined it a bit more carefully than I had before and put it back in its place.  I was able to find forgiveness in myself for mistakes I had made in my recent past (I had already forgiven myself for old mistakes).  I was able to find forgiveness for Devin for his mistakes.  I have come to realize that I am able to look at Devin’s past, his addiction, the way I look at my own, without immense pain or shame.  I cannot change what has happened, I can accept it, forgive him, and move forward. 

That’s the path I have chosen.  It is a path that may eventually lead to more pain, but it is the one I am choosing for now.

I also found character flaws I need to work on fixing and while I was aware of them and accepted them as a part of “me” yesterday…today…not so much…

Let me see if I can explain…

Yesterday, after I did my fifth step I felt, I don’t know, “free”.  Imagine telling someone you kinda, sorta, almost, know, your most intimate and deep thoughts and secrets.  This person has been exactly, exactly, where you have been.  Walked in your shoes.  Traveled your path.  As you speak, you see this person nodding their head in recognition.  Any fear or shame that you held for sharing your secrets is gone in a flash.  *Poof*  They understand.  They “get it”.  Been There, Done That.  It didn’t matter that I had shared these things with various people throughout the years in bits and pieces or even with Devin in its entirety.  There was something about sharing it, concisely, in an organized manner after having gone through it so thoroughly myself. 

My moments of pain, my moments of fears, my moments of embarrassment, sprinkled with some highlights of my good qualities and my humor and dashed in with some shameful events and admissions and I came out a brand new me.

It was freeing!!  I felt a weight being lifted from me yesterday as I came home and reflected and finished working in my workbook.  I was elated.

Then, this morning. 

I began working my sixth step:

Step 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

It seemed easy enough yesterday.  I had admitted I had the defects, why wouldn’t I want them “removed”? 

Here’s what I said the last time I talked about this:  

"I'm not going to ask God to remove the "defects" of character because they make up who I am. While I'm not proud of the things I have done in my past, and I have regrets for some of things I have done, I don't think I am defective in any way.  I am me and God knows me for who I am and still loves me "as is" - that's my God."

I recognize some of the things, such as to much pride or hanging onto resentment and anger, I see the need to free myself of these things.  However, to “hand it over” to God and have Him release me of it??  I just don’t sit well with that.  It seems to me that it’s MY job, not his. 

Then again, one of my issues is control, isn’t it? 

I guess I need to talk to my rockin’ counselor about this on Monday…

My Eyes Were Wide Shut

can't give proper credit - it floated around Facebook for a few weeks so I'll guess Fave Quotes?




How fantastic was yesterday?  I've never been so excited to see the banter and the comments go back and forth on my blog before.  It was like being DezAnne or Pat for a day (with 1/8 of the following)! Tons of fun!  I seriously don't know how you guys with a big following do it.  Thank you to all the new people who stopped by to say hello to me and to my Hooligans who went and visited Dez.  

******

Here's that disclaimer I'm kind enough to provide: this post will most likely be long and rambling; it will be one full of jumbled thoughts because I'm sorting through some emotions since Devin's relapse and my decision to stay through the summer and see if his attempt at recovery improves.  It's been some what of a hit and miss thus far.  So, now's your chance - RUN to another blog - quick - if you're looking for humor or something quick.

*******

As I cleaned yesterday, I realized I never would have asked Devin for the divorce had he not relapsed.  For had he not relapsed his behavior would not have changed so drastically that we were unable to communicate for those few weeks leading up to that horrible weekend.  I finally understood that he felt cornered by me and was not stable enough in his recovery to react in a healthy manner.  Instead, he withdrew from me.  He told me what I wanted I wanted to hear, then did what he wanted to do regardless of my observations of shifting addictions.  This caused me to become angry and then we fought and entered into an unhealthy cycle of fighting which pushed him further away until he finally slipped then relapsed.  The red flags were there but because he had been sober for so long, over a year, I refused to fully see them.  My eyes were wide shut.  (Totally stole the movie title there.)  

Where does that leave me now?  I'm dealing with the exact same thing I was dealing with a year ago:  How will Devin handle his recovery?  The answer is clearer now than it was before.  Yet the answer is the same:  On his own.  I can't be his helping hand.  No more gentle reminders to call his sponsor (he forgot last night because he was doing his homework), or leading questions about reading his literature (which he did after his homework) or working his program (hasn't done since Friday but who's keeping track?).  

I have put his recovery back down before him.  Completely.  Mentally.  In my head it's in a brown box, taped shut and Devin stands before it...all he has to do is pick it up...it's all his now.  I'm done.  There's a box right next to it, wide open it's contents scattered across the ground.  That one is mine.  It's my recovery.  It looks pretty messy but it's not.  Everyday the box is packed and unpacked; affirmation cards read, prayers said, eyes looked at in the mirror and a mantra of affirmation of beauty and strength said, deep breaths completed...whatever else pops into my head done for the day.  That box is frayed from much use, overuse....because PTSD from a partner's sex addiction is a bitch.

***********

The hardest thing to recover from is broken trust.  There was no cheating during this relapse.  If there was, I'd be long gone.  There would be no Summer of Elsie, there'd be How Fast Can Elsie's Car Drive Away From Here?  And while the wise ass in me wants to say "Hooray Devin for only looking at porn" the reality is, "a lie, is a lie, is a lie."  You told me you were sober, dammit!  For a month!

The other reality is that aside from the fact that my trust factor meter has been set back to a big fat zero.  I also have to deal with Devin being in the world of readjusting to sobriety again.  He swings from complete understanding to complete self pity. I either want to hug him or hit him.  In a matter of moments. It angers me to know that all it took was me putting pressure on him for him relapse, then I sit and think no...it was him not applying himself fully into his own recovery that caused the relapse...then I get angry.  

Then, I think...why am I angry?  I didn't cause it.  It's not my fault.  I can't control it.  Only he can take control over this and then I focus back on me and back on what I plan on doing this summer...the Summer of Elsie.




>>>I have a doctor's appointment - so I'm going to hit publish, hop in the shower and take off...I'll be back to comment on your blogs this afternoon


The Naked Truth

photo credit:  http://simplystated.realsimple.com/2012/04/27/daily-thought-04-27-2012/?xid=dailynews-04-27-2012



^^^^A Journal Entry^^^^
(See, I was nice and warned you so you could click away if you're not in the mood for Elsie drama today)

There is a tale, perhaps you've heard it, about a man who is sitting upon his rooftop during a flood and the waters are rising.  A man in a dingy comes along and says, "Come on in!" and the man replies "No thanks, I'm praying and waiting on the Lord."  Next,  comes a lifeguard with a life preserver and says, "Come on, I'll help you swim out!"  Again, the man replies, "No thanks, the Lord will help me."  Finally, the waters have risen, surrounding the man, lapping at his feet and a helicopter arrives.  "Sir, please allow us to help you to safety!"  Again, his reply was the same.  "The Lord will take care of me."  Eventually, the man dies and goes to heaven.  He asks God, "Why didn't You save me?"  God replied, "I sent you a dingy, a lifeguard and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

I am staying true to myself and to the originations of why I began blogging by journaling what I feel at the moment.  I understand it's not easy to read about someone's emotional pain and you want to reach through the screen and either slap them and say "GET OUT" or you feel obligated to comment with something comforting; I've done it myself.  For this reason, I will disable comments, to take that burden off of you.  

This is a journal entry for me and it's to let others know they aren't alone.

Eleven days ago (what? who's counting?  I guess that'd be the person who's insides are torn inside out.) I blogged about divorcing Devin.  I am a black and white person.  Everything is an absolute.  It either is or it isn't.  There is no grey area.  Until we get to him.  Grey pops and shines it's way through and it's my job to sort it through in my way to organized and rational brain.  

Am I this rational and organized in my thinking because of my own addiction to cocaine twenty years ago?  Maybe.  Or was it the death of my first husband that just screwed me up so bad?  Perhaps they both contribute.  I'm working on that now as I work on my forth step (which I worked on yesterday - ugh!).  At the rate I'm going, I'll be lucky if that fourth step is done by the end of summer!

When we went to our rockin' counselor office the other day, another lightbulb went off in his head about his shifting addiction. He finally opened up about his pain inside and lack of self worth.  Then another lightbulb when we got home and talked.  The familiar roller coaster ride of hope began.  

He opened up his "How to Sell Your Crap" on Ebay book (not official name) and set up his seller account.  He talked of the things he needs to get rid of and why.  I understand that denial takes time to lift, dissolve and the real results will be through his step work and therapy.  It doesn't happen over night.  If I decide to stay...it's more time invested, more potential frustration.  Do I want that?

Then he got sidetracked.  He went on YouTube.  The Middle Circle. I could sit here and do like he did; justify it - "I was listening to so and so play guitar", which is true, but I'm not going to do that.  I could also explain that the program is based on the core belief that it "Progress Not Perfection", I'm not ready to do that either.  Why?  It's to early.  He won't talk to me about it, he wants to talk to his sponsor first.  Which, I hate to admit this (really I do, not sure why) is what he is supposed to do.  I also know why he did it.  Stress, fear, admitting to another addiction - it ain't easy.

Instead, I explained that I had to enforce my boundary agreement, no affection and not sleeping in the same bed.  Oh, umm, yeah, we are still on track for a divorce but snuggle...cause, well we love each other.  I know.  It's crazy.

So, why the tale in beginning?  Most of you know that while I may not attend church, my belief in God is strong.  I pray - a lot.  Well, okay, I'm not dropping to my knees in prayer in the parking lot of Walmart, although maybe I should, I hate that place!  

Anyway, I can't help but wonder, what help, what signs, is God showing me?  Was it the breakthrough at our counselor's?  The Ebay selling account?  Or was it the middle circle with YouTube?

Or, am I grasping at nothing.  Just so unsure of my decision to tear apart my family.  My children from the man they adore.

My rational brain screams I can't stay for my kids.  Yet it also screams to be patient as does my heart.  The worst of his addictions is over. I have played him out to be a villain when he's done nothing but try and try and try.  And the second we clash; I want to run because it's the easiest emotionally.  Well, once I'm gone and out of the house, it's easier because then I won't see him anymore.

What if all the people I harmed during my addiction had done that to me?

I have an emergency appointment with my counselor late Monday night.  How cool is this lady?  She had zero openings and is fitting me in after 8:00 p.m.   I have very specific questions to ask her and will be placing that into the mix of my decision.

Holy crap - It's taken me two hours to write this!

As always, thank you for reading.  I hope you understand why I didn't allow comments...much love to all of you!