Serenity Now!!!!

Funny how we think something is lost, gone forever, but truly it's simply misplaced for a short time.  

That's what happened to me for a few weeks when I allowed myself to become immersed in Devin's shifted addiction that has now been clarified by our counselor as possible OCD. (Clarified to me, not to him).  I lost my serenity, my peace, my calm.
I went searching for my serenity but kept coming up empty.  I dug into toolbox of recovery tools but it wasn't there.  I even went into my U-haul box that I keep - remember this analogy I used some time ago?


"I look at my recovery and his recovery as two separate boxes in my mind.  Big ass brown packing boxes.  Mine is worn and frayed from constant use.  Sometimes the contents are scattered all over the ground while I'm busy working on myself. Then I pack them up neatly and put them back until the next day. My SA's box gets opened once a week without fail but the edges are still brand new, no wear and tear.  I've learned to accept that but it took a long time to stop trying to dust off his box, take out the tools and show them to him myself.  If he's going to the meetings, he knows they are in there."

I searched deep in that box too, but, to no avail, my serenity, my peace and my calm were gone!  Suddenly it occurred to me!  I keep them so close to hand all the time, they must be where I keep my credit card and ID card when I'm in a hurry at the gas station or food shopping; my back pocket.  

Bingo!  There they were! Happily, I reached in and took them out embraced each and every one of them again.  Once I did, I was able to step back away from Devin's chaos and notice something very strange.  It ain't so chaotic anymore.

The budget has been done.  He's come to me for FANOS.  He's talked of the noise quieting in his brain.  He's going to the gym.  He's connecting with our son.  The meds are working.

I embrace my my serenity, peace and calm and remain cautiously optimistic.

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?


Detach With Love


**Long post ahead-either click away, grab a cup of coffee or go take a potty break...you'll be here for awhile...and I'm grateful you are.  You guys rock!**
Devin had made a laundry list of chores he wanted to get done while he was break from school. These were things he knew were important to me because they were issues stemming from his addiction days. Promise after promise had been made, but none had been kept so he resolved to get it done while he was off from school. "It's gonna get done. I promise!"

“We are going to bed early this week so we can get on a FANOS schedule again.” - The earliest the lights were out was 10:30, he’s up at 5:00.  Sleep is a Migraine trigger for me and I had to sleep in the spare bedroom while he got ready in the mornings.

“We’re going to read from Erotic Intelligence this weekend.” - We haven’t read it in months.

Finally, yesterday was my breaking point. 

“I’m going to make a dent in the spare room.”  Nothing.  He said he was working on homework but whenever I saw him on the computer, he was goofing off.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know this is not a new problem.  It’s also not uncommon among many addicts.  It’s a matter of either shifting addictions or multiple addictions.  I suffer from it myself if I’m not careful.  Ask me about my old friend hypervigilance sometime. 

While it’s nice to know Devin is sober, it’s disheartening to know he is still battling with this void within him.  The void he needs to fill with “stuff” and then he battles with being overwhelmed and scattered.  Yes, he is being tested for ADD this week – if he goes through with it because he’s quite afraid.
~~~ (Yes, I toyed with breaking this into a second post here but, it's me, I ramble.  Maybe at a later date?)~~~

Anyone reading this who has an addict in his or her life or who is an addict has heard the term “Detach with Love.”  For those of us involved with the addict, it is a safe place for us to go mentally and emotionally.  It provides us with a sense of peace and serenity while allowing us to still love our addict in a healthy way.

It’s what I’m doing with Devin now.  We discussed it last night during FANOS, which he initiated.  He was obviously upset and observed how odd it is that I am now the one detaching while it was he doing the detaching when he was acting out.  I pointed out the difference; mine will be kept in check and be done with love, respect and setting boundaries not as a result from my addiction but a result to his addiction.

My boundaries are fairly simple: 
  • I will no longer accept what you tell me about projects around the house as an expectation.  I will believe it when I see it.  (Saying it’s a lie or he’s lazy seems harsh and unnecessary, he is still learning to be forthcoming.)

  • I will no longer be baited into an argument when told I need to learn how to communicate.  I have talked to our counselor, watched endless shows, read articles and books.  It is time for you to do the same and learn communication skills too.

  • I cannot accept full responsibility for reminding you about FANOS, Erotic Intelligence or even sex.  It cannot be all me.  We are a couple and need to work together.

I have not set a time limit for the detachment, it’s all depends on him and his behavior and my feelings.  I’ve talked to my counselor and understand how to avoid becoming completely emotionally detached and had to get counseled on this once before and know it’s a fine line to walk but know I can do it through love and understanding and strength.

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!














Torn

image from: tryingtomakeyousing.com




Wanting to protect myself

Wanting to protect my children

Wanting to protect him

My heart bleeds as it rips from being torn, who will mend it?

My voice bounces off of an empty room, not wanting to share my pain

The veil of denial slowly lifting from his eyes as he sees his shifting addictions, but it's to late

Loss of his family becoming a reality as plans are being put into motion

My heart bleeds as it rips from being torn, who will mend it?

Needing to protect myself

Needing to protect my children

Still wanting to protect him because I love him so much.

My heart aches.