Do I Have An Addiction?

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times in life. The difficulties are different for each person. I have had friends struggling with the financial burdens that it places on the family. Some other friends are financially stable but not emotionally stable and still in love with the person. Then there are those that are hit by every bolt of lightning in the ferocious storm. No matter what part is pounding on your mind and heart, I know you are suffering in a way that you are having a tough time explaining to anyone who has never gone through this trial.

I am one of those super lucky winners with every lightning bolt zapping me at a constant and steady pace. Since we split and decided to divorce, I have discovered way too much about our marriage that has struck me with jolts so strong that I ended up on the floor of despair at times. I never knew that he was so proud of his large cocaine deal so he had the means to buy me an engagement ring. That one really made me detest that ring even more than I did before this information. I never knew that when he was in drug treatment during our marriage (and telling me that he was working on saving our marriage and the family) that he was really keeping his affair going as a “single man” living in the big city. He even had the nerve to use my hotel account to get an upgrade for a “meeting” one day. I never knew that he had been carrying on with two moms in my children’s school that year. I never knew that he was sneaking out of our bed and our house at 2am to buy and/or sell drugs. I never knew that he had not given up Tinder after the first time it was discovered and promised to end. BUT to top it all off with an extra helping of pain, I found out that the house we had raised our children in for the last 7 years was never mine in any way…even though WE were paying his parents slowly for it. You see it was a family home that his parents “gifted” it to him on paper but he was really making payments to them. And since it was a gift on paper, I had zero rights to it according to law. However, I could have really gotten nasty to prove it was not a gift and the massive mortgage that he took out was being paid by our money. I didn’t want to be that woman who got nasty in the divorce. Still to this day the divorce has not been in my favor and I am still waiting on the money from our marriage. I only wanted what I deserved but I didn’t want to be nasty. I need to stop being so nice and stand up for myself and my children. He has always taken what he wants while I just learn to be happy with what he offers me. I have to stop being this way. I deserve more. This is how I spent our entire marriage. Playing nice and walking on eggshells with the hopes of always making others happy and making it all work to be good and normal again.

The one thing that I didn’t see over the years was a very important reality…it was not good or normal. It was never normal and hardly good. I wanted it to be so badly that I didn’t allow myself to see the reality right there in bright lights. He always had wandering eyes from day one. He professed his great dedication to me and was upset when I was not just with him after our second date. We still were not really there after the second date. I had doubts. I had every right to have doubts with the way he acted and what I had heard about him on occasion. The ironic thing is that he was mad at me about seeing other people but after 5 or 6 dates he was still seeing his old “girl friend” from when we met. It was never equal or honest. I couldn’t understand it, but after a few months, I became addicted to him. He was so charismatic and funny. He was always out and about and up for fun. He paid attention to me. He sent flowers, called me throughout the day and made an effort to meet me for lunch. He cooked for me and made fires for us. We went out on his boat (well, actually his dad’s boat), he liked to say they shared it. He was love bombing me with everything that he knew I wanted and needed to create the addiction. He wanted me to be addicted to him. I have seen him do it to others. If heroin had a persona it would be this man. His drug makes you feel so important, warm and understood. It fills your veins with it’s embrace and tells you that you need it and want it more and more. It makes you believe that you are better with it. You are stronger with it. You are prettier with it. You will be special and loved by it. He was heroin. He wanted me to become addicted to him so that I fed his narcissistic addiction for attention and power. I fell hard and fast. We were engaged within 8 months of first date. This is crazy when I look back and remember that I hesitated with him after the first date and it took us almost another month before we had three dates. I drank the punch and injected the warmth of lies, secrets and manipulations that poured from his mouth. I saw the red flags of his real character. It was not a good one either. It was a character opposite of mine. It was a character filled with greed, dishonesty, anger and distrust. His “friends” were involved in things that I disagreed with and always did. So I constantly ask myself why did I continue down this path with him when I saw these red flags and holes in the hope that he offered me? Because his addictions and his issues with narcissism gave him the ability to hoodwink me and others into believing that what he says is the truth. Those false words are the very things that encouraged me to open my soul to him by that fireside. He asked the right questions and got the answers that he needed to make sure I was easily manipulated and drugged by him. I really do wish at times that he had just puts some mickeys in my drinks so I didn’t feel so stupid for being so stupid. I know now that I wasn’t stupid. I keep reminding myself that he made sure that he became the drug I needed to fall deeper and deeper into the dark rabbit hole of his power and control.

Fall into that hole? Yes, I did; and I hit that bottom so hard I am still healing from those wounds. I went through a marriage filled with so much cheating and lies about cheating that it made a season of a soap opera look boring. Some of the lies are actually funny now. But at that time I was so wrapped up in the ropes of false love and confusing words that I couldn’t see humor or pain or anything. I just wanted to find a way to make it all better. To make us better as a couple. I kept saying, “I love you so much. Why don’t you want me?” I fought to stay where I wasn’t even wanted and with someone who didn’t love or want me. What was wrong with me? Who does this? I was so mad at myself over and over throughout the marriage and even more so in the divorce. Now I get it. I can’t be mad at myself. I was addicted to wanting him to love me. I was addicted to making it work. I was addicted to the love that I thought was there. The love that I pretended was there. I started a family with kids and didn’t want to change that or lose that. I was addicted to being a success story instead of a failure. I was addicted to him as much as he was addicted to his pleasures of women, drugs, secrets and getting away with dishonest acts. I was addicted to his return of affection as he was to love bombing and having attention from many at one time. I knew that I only wanted to have a loving family that made great memories to create warmth and lasting happiness. I knew that I wanted to share my life with someone who saw the same horizon as I did. I believed that if he was sober he would love me and could love me. It had nothing to do with sobriety from drugs or alcohol. It had everything to do with him and who he was. It had everything to do with the fact that I was so desperate to make it work and make him see me and love me like he did when he was love bombing me with false hope.

I got taken over by someone who made me believe that he was that man who loved, cared for, and wanted me. I used to beat myself up for this entire story and how could I have allowed such emotional, mental, verbal and financial abuse to be forced on me for over 16 years. I would cry to God, “What is wrong with me?” God finally helped me find the answers to my pain and heartache. I didn’t cause this. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it. I was just another woman on his path of pain and destruction for his own ego and pleasure. Just another woman, that’s it. Yes, I did get married and stayed married for far too long. I should have ended it when the first known affair took place at year 5. That would have been 11 years ago. But I didn’t because I believed in love and what marriage meant. I believed in fighting for what was important to me…my family and my husband. I did mess up and make mistakes along the way with handling the pain and confusion of lies. I understand now that I was just a human trying to navigate uncharted waters of unknown darkness and demons. I understand more what addicts go through now from this. I was addicted to someone whom I wanted to make love me (I kept dwelling on what I thought once was but not look at what is really was). I was addicted to making myself matter to someone to the point where I stopped being my true to myself.

Recovery is possible from the pain of betrayal. Recovery is possible from the pain of divorce. All these things are just a portion of life. They do not define us. I am not defined by him or his lack of love and honesty. I am defined by the fact that I was honest, faithful, loyal, loving, caring, forgiving and steadfast and he took advantage of that and used it against me for too many years. I stayed true to myself. I did get lost in him and what I believed him to be. But that is okay. I woke up and saw the light at the top of the hole. I crawled out of that hole to live in the new warmth of the truth shining on me. The truth was hard to see and hear but necessary for my recovery and growth to a happier more loving world where he is not part of my days. It does take time and healing is not linear. There are good and bad days. The strongest light is that the good days slowly start to outweigh the bad ones. I couldn’t say that two years ago. I am still sad that I allowed such unacceptable behavior by him. I am still mad that I allowed myself to be abused as I was. But I am getting strong every day. One day at time. Let go and let God. Progress not perfection. Keep it simple. This too shall pass.

Breath Out Negativity, Breathe In Positivity. Breathe Out Addiction, Breathe In Recovery. Breathe Out Feeling Bad, Breathe In Feeling You Again.

Letters from the Past

I was cleaning out my computer to make room for new files. It is like life when you have delete things from the past to make room for better things in the present. And I came upon this untitled file. It was a letter that I wrote to my then husband after finding yet another woman being kept in the dark even though I helped him once again get into rehab and recovery. This was before all of the insanity of his disease and narcissism really started to pound me into a dark and very deep rabbit hole of pain and regret. So many of the sentiments have changed from this letter. I no longer see him with love. Not even the smallest amount of love still exists. When I see him now, I see the two headed monster that is one way to others and one way to me. I see him as the greatest disappointment of a person in my life. Our divorce has been the worst experience of my 48 years on this earth. His narcissistic desires to control me with money are still raging after we signed but I am away from him and can better control the level that his abuse impacts me now. I wanted to publish this letter so that others can see that the effects of emotional and verbal abuse from a narcissist or addict can really make your head and spin with a myriad of thoughts and feelings. Don’t beat yourself up about it. We have all gone through this in these situations. Not all the same but very similar with what it does to us, our families and our friends. You are not alone in this struggle. Divorce is hard. Divorce from a narcissist or addict is even harder. We become puppets in their games until we have the strength to cut the strings. The one focus that has and always will remain my main goal is the healing and positive progress of me and my children. We deserve it. We are worth it. God will take care of my ex and His justice for his actions will deliver the consequences of continually and intentionally hurting people who truly loved him.

Dear XXXXX,

I always carried this inner happiness and joy and love with me. I loved the idea that each day was an opportunity to learn something new and grow into a better version of who God wants me to be. I loved that God gave me joys and love in unexpected places and in new people all the time and that He always held my hand.  All I ever wanted in life was to have people to share this with.  I really wanted a partner to share this with and learn from and exchange happiness and love with every day.  I love the idea that we all go through painful times to help others with similar pains. I want to help others like that. And especially help my partner with the pains that I could help with and hold hands for the ones I can’t. I still have this happiness and joy in me but forgot I had it for a little while or actually thought it didn’t matter at times that I had it in me to share.  

I can’t say this to you face to face because I can’t see you without any tears while I have them filling my eyes and making it hard to get to the words.  That has made me feel even more alone and less important every time.  And you don’t have to worry about time or getting anywhere when we talk and leave me feeling abandoned again and again, because you can read this on your time and as long as it takes. 

I have done deep soul searching and going over things in my mind to the point of craziness.  I just wanted to be sure that I am making the best decision for myself and this family. I believe I am.

I can no longer hold on to a dream that keeps me up at night, keeps me crying and keeps disappointing me with new fears.  The dream of us is something that has brought me more pain than comfort over the past few years. I cannot compete with what I don’t know anymore.  I cannot compete to be loved or chosen or to be the one.  I cannot compete for time. I am exhausted and worn to the bare bones of my whole being by all this. 

I know I will never feel safe enough to trust you enough to rebuild our relationship again. There will always be ways for your past to find you whether on LinkedIn, Pinterest or office email or private email. And I constantly ask myself that all these “someones” were enough to risk losing me at different points, so why not now? There will always be places, apps and  internet arenas for you to meet new others and for you to become interested in other women again. There will always be those sleazy someones out there around town, in meetings, on bus or trains or others you can travel to who are ready to flirt or want to “cheat” with you. I can’t trust you to choose me and that hurts me too much.  I don’t believe that I will ever be enough for you or the only one you want.  And I believe that your friends in recovery will often push me out because you feel more comfortable with them.   I don’t want to hear it’s not comfortable to be with me. That the wife who has been by your side for 16 years is pushed away for someone you have known weeks or months.  That deeply hurts me. I know recovery is a bond but I deserve and am worth the time to be with my husband and try to be there with him on a difficult journey that I stayed with him on for a long time to help him even in the darkest of days. I deserve to be shown how important that I am to his recovery too if that is how he feels about me.  My husband should be comfortable with me and want to talk to me and want to get close to me again.  This is what I wanted to see you do for so long now. But to my sadness I had to accept that is only true if you deeply felt that you need to be with me and desire to save our marriage and us along with yourself.  I learned at my retreat that you can save yourself and your marriage together if that’s what you truly wanted.  

I don’t want to keep feeling my heart break when you don’t wear your ring (mine was off because of the broken promises behind it and only you could make it feel comfortable again but I feel yours is off because of resentments to me and because you gave up on me)  I don’t want to be hurt from hearing a crazy, not normal excuse for being late or where you are going or who you were with or who is on the phone. I don’t want to feel like I am not worth the truth.  I don’t want to feel that I am not very important to my husband. Sadly, I have felt this too often.  And that hurts me.  I don’t need the drama of someone “chasing my plane “ but I did most definitely need an obvious effort by now. 

I know you have said you want to be 1000% sure you won’t hurt me again.  I see it since you don’t know that clearly at this point or haven’t in sobriety during past two times after treatments then the answer is most likely that you will never be sure if you can completely choose me.  That’s not the marriage I want or deserve.  I want an equal marriage. Equally broken and damaged but equally in love and in efforts to help heal each other faithfully and compassionately forever.  

I don’t see us having a marriage like this after everything. I have fallen so hard over the years with you and I am so broken and bruised. You are trying to recover again.  I have been here trying to hold you up and support you so long even when I gave all I had to you at my own expense.  I desperately needed that support and love from you too, but I understand you haven’t been able to do that for me for a very long time because of your own struggles.  

Your recovery is first for you and I would never jeopardize that for your life depends on it.  And I desperately want our children to have their father.  I want you to thrive and survive too.  I know I deserve my dreams too.  I want to let go of these painful dreams so I can heal and so I can find new dreams that don’t hurt me. I want to stop putting hope in a basket with no bottom. The only way I can heal is to completely let go of the dream of us and me being the only one to you like I vowed.  I need you to let go of me too without keeping me tied to you for various reasons.

This was the toughest decision and why I couldn’t say it to you.  I want the best for both of us. This marriage stopped being the best for a while.  I tried to make it better because I deeply love you.  I tried to make you want me to be what I once was to you. But I can’t try anymore sorry.  I have to give up to save myself from any more heartbreak and pain that I fear will come or already is happening again. I can’t know about any more women in your life and even after we are separated it will hurt me so badly because really we are still married and the doors of hope would still be open. I just wanted you to prove it if you wanted it while we were apart.  I don’t want to be heartbroken anymore by other women. 

Sadly a divorce is the only answer to fixing our broken marriage and giving us each the places to heal. If you care for and love me at all, please, let me go with love, compassion and respect for what I have gone through to bring me to this decision.  We are going to be co-parents to two absolutely amazing kids that deserve everything we can give them now.  They deserve to have a happily separated family. 

I love you and you will always have a place in my heart. I will always pray for your serenity and happiness. I will always pray for your sobriety and path towards better tomorrows.  I wish this wasn’t the answer but it is the only answer for me to heal and get better.  And I do believe an answer for you too.  With me in your life, I would have to ask you to give up so much that I know you don’t want to give up and most likely can’t give up like other women and your secrets. And I know this because you have never wanted to or couldn’t give these things up for me in past even after many times asking.  It’s your choice to what you want and don’t want in your life.  I have had to accept that some things are just too hard to change or give up.  

I have never wanted this and have fought with every ounce of myself to make it not happen.  I can look at myself and know I tried every way possible to save us but I couldn’t do it anymore no matter how much love that I have in my heart for you. Some things just are not meant to stay the same.  Some people’s roles are to change in our lives. I have prayed for many years for strength, guidance, knowledge and courage to help us and you and myself. I believe God is going to lead us both to peace and serenity now.  I will always love you and pray for you and hope for your long term sobriety and peace.  I will always support you in recovery and cheer for your accomplishments. You showed me how much I can love and how strong I truly am. For this, I am Forever grateful.  God gave us each other for a great reason and it is not something I wish didn’t happen because from us came two of the most amazing humans to grace this earth. I would do it again for them and for the lessons and strengths that I have gained over these years.  Thank you for that. Thank you for our beautiful children who have shown me that being a mother is the greatest joy I never knew I could have and more about love than I ever understood.  They are the partners for sharing happiness, joy, love and amazing God moments that teach me every day.  They, too, have made me a better woman.  

I hope we can do this as friends because I will always consider you a friend for life.  I wish this wasn’t the answer but I don’t see any other way to help me heal and not get hurt anymore.  

This quote really said it all for me. 

Breathe Out Past, Breathe In New Future. Breathe Out Sadness, Breathe In A Genuine Smile. Breathe Out What Was, Breathe In What Is. Breathe Out Old Dreams, Breathe In New Dreams. Breathe Out Damage, Breathe In Recovery.

Lost Energy

Ever have that sinking feeling like you are falling into darkness but it isn’t really that dark? There is light around highlighting the things you cannot seem to grasp? There is this pressure on your brain and heart? You feel paralyzed but seem to be running somewhere at the same time? Your heart is beating so fast but yet you feel numb? You feel like you should cry but there are no tears? You breathe heavy deep breaths that have undertones of slight laughter? Then when it is all over, you sit there like you just woke up from a bad dream that you only remember bits and pieces of in the haze? This is my anxiety “moments”… not attacks to me. They are moments when life is just so big and heavy and it stops you to show you that you need to unload something, anything. The plug in your toe has been pulled and the energy goes rushing out into the gutters of fear and confusion.

We all suffer from overload at times. It is different for everyone. Life is different for everyone. I think this is what is so difficult with life. We really are mapping it out all alone. No one knows our hearts and minds. No one knows our fears and worries. No one knows our pain and suffering. No one knows our hopes and dreams. There is no other human that has lived what we have lived or felt what we have felt exactly like we have. BUT that does not mean that they cannot help us or offer us a supporting hand of love and compassion. I have always believed in the theory that I never know what someone is going through, so treat all with kindness as it might just make a difference in a large way. I would want that always. So I should give that always. Not always easy when I am zapped and feel such a load on my own back. A load that feels as if it is pinching and cutting me with every move and decision. I just want to always be the best version of myself. Sometimes I can’t. Sometimes life is too heavy and my energy is lost in the vast darkness of confusion and pain. My one bar remaining is almost gone from sight.

In these times it is so hard to know where to go and what to do so the winds of hope fill me up again. I have learned that turning to God is the only way lately. Like the first three steps say…”I can’t. He can. So I will let Him.” Powerful statement and guidance from someone who needed God at the bottom of his pit. God was the ladder that took him to the light. Was it always easy peasy? No. Was it always light and peace? No. But was it worth it? Yes. So tough for me and for so many out there to let go of the thing that are making us “lose” our energy. So hard to let go of anger, resentments, pain, grief, fear, confusion or even people. Letting go and letting God is the only answer to restore us to full bars again. It is the only answer to real laughter and smiles and love again. I can’t answer why at times I allow the pain and confusion and fear to drain my bars. If I knew why I felt so compelled to find answers to the unanswerable questions in life, then I think that I would always at one bar and never fall below. With God, I don’t need the answers anymore. I just need to believe in the solutions now. I need to see the truth of the reality that is living around me. The truth is never scary because there is nothing lurking in its shadows. The truth is all light and freedom. Light and freedom fuel our energy to grow and change and desire the good things instead of allowing the weights of darkness to hold us down.

This was a heavy purge for me today. I hide behind so much that I hate for people to see my darkness and pain and how weak I am at times. Never want anyone to see how weak I feel lately with so much lost energy on the things that do not deserve my energy. Thank you for listening and accepting me for me…the good and the bad, the light and the darkness, the pain and the happiness, the strengths and the weaknesses. I accept you too. I hear your hearts too. I embrace you with the kind of love only someone who wants to understand and help can embrace you with – an embrace that wants to put back all those loose pieces. We all have different journeys and different recoveries from the pains and darknesses that life has given us and the beauty is that we do not have to understand fully, but we just have to accept one another for it. Feeling alone too much is draining and overwhelming. The depression and anger is too great to carry on most days. There was a post recently on Instagram that had four pictures of four smiling celebrities. Under the photos it said, “Check on your happy friends.” They were four celebrities who committed suicide but were always happy to the world. Never feel that alone or that lost or that misunderstood. God is always with you. You may not be able to do it, BUT He can. So let Him. And those of us who have lived with the pains of life from abuse to addictions to extreme grief, we will hold your hand and hearts in love and acceptance even if you can’t stand up today. I will lay on the floor with you because I know some days, it would be the greatest feeling having someone who just laid next to me on the floor and held me so tight that the pieces fit together again. Energy lost is hard but you can get off the floor, recover and dance again.

Breathe Out Darkness, Breathe In Extreme Light. Breathe Out Pain, Breathe In Acceptance. Breathe Out Lies, Breathe In Truth. Breathe Out Self-Judgments, Breathe In Self-Love. Breathe Out Fears, Breathe In Gratitudes. Breathe Out Low Energy, Breath In Dancing in the Rain.

What Day Is It Anyway?

The day, the time, the date…anyone know? Doesn’t it seem like when you get up in the morning that there is no rush, nor urgency to be anywhere? Snooze on the alarm doesn’t hold much power anymore. Especially on a day like today when the rain is falling from the thick dark clouds and cool winds are pushing you back under the covers. I think a great description for me on these days is motivational slumber. Lack of things to really do on a time schedule. Lack of urgency other than getting back to the latest binge watch. But there are urgent items on my list. Feels like these days, they are written in invisible ink and I can’t find the flashlight to see them.

So today I am going to sit down and really embrace those items I don’t want to see. The emotional pain that I need to deal with today. The mental stresses of the future that I need to start sorting through and getting things in order and ready. The physical relief that I can get from some exercise and movement. All of these things can help my inner peace and patience. I read my nightly inspiration before bed last night and it talked about patience. Patience is really the key to so much these days. Patience can make daily functions easier and more tolerable. Patience can give us clearer vision free from the obstructions of anger, sadness and fear. Patience can calm our hearts and minds to take on only that which we can handle that day. Patience is what breathes life into the Alanon and AA saying…One Day at a Time! Why I called this blog, Breathe, One Day at a Time. Patience with ourselves; patience with others; patience with the world around us. Patience is the key for today to not feel that you have to solve your divorce today, to figure out where you will work again, to figure out where you will live in a few months, to figure out the details of anything. You can solve only what you can. You can get ready for the divorce to end but not make it all happen today. You can look at jobs, get your resume ready and maybe even start sending it out to get ahead of the others applying. You can review housing options in different areas. You can save $10 here and $15 there to pay off something in a few months. It will all be okay. It may not be “the okay” that you wanted but it will be okay. I believe that. I have faith that God will never work so hard for us to good only to hurt us. It is hard for many of us to trust because we have been hurt by trusting others way too many times. Patience…you will get there. I am still a work in progress but at least I am working towards betterment. Some days better than others. But I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be honest. And being honest with myself will lead to being patient with what I can handle that day and progress will come naturally.

So today I wish you all well with your movement towards betterment and peace. Have patience with yourself. Do not allow the bad days to not cause guilt or shame or anger. We all have them and they are great tools to getting through the pain with strength and grace. Sending love and support to everyone today.

Breathe Out for 10 seconds and Breathe In for 10 Seconds…do this five times, 7 if needed and have the patience you need to get through today.

Why is it so hard to heal?

I have spent a year trying to heal after leaving him, finally. I mean really heal. I finally blocked his number. I only emailed about money and kids during our separation and divorce process. I tried to only email. Somethings, when in this awful process, are not email worthy. Sometimes you need a quick response or to actually talk about it. Or you want him to know you do exist and are not the ghost like he treats you as. But this just is so painful for me. Such a trigger to hear the anger and irritation in his voice. The same sound that has plagued me for years with criticism, lies, harsh words, denials and manipulations. The same voice that used to tell me he promised us a future. The same voice that promised to love me and never hurt me like I was before. The same voice that denied way too many times to count that he wasn’t cheating or ever had sex with someone. The same voice that swore on his own kids’ and his father’s lives at times when he was lying (as I found out much later). The same voice that used his twisted mind to yell at me when I was crying, not just tears but sobbing, about the pain I felt from another sign of a women or drugs that I had found. The same voice that talked in circles and changed his stories four or five times to make me the crazy one for even thinking that he was cheating or using drugs again or doubting him in any way. Then the same voice that would tell me how much he loved me and wanted to change and make our marriage better the very next day. Only to find out that he was just worried that he would get caught because he was cheating with one or more women. Because he was using drugs. Because I was right and on to his lies and secrets. He hated to be exposed for his lies.

I was constantly punished for realizing the lies and secrets that he was holding. I was always the bad guy because he was not keeping his promises and vows to me and our marriage. I never cheated. I never lived another life behind his back. I was his wife and only his wife. I was a mother and loved every minute of it. I was thankful and appreciative for his hard work. I tried to show him that with cards, flowers, gifts, meals, texts, etc. But nothing was good enough. I never felt good enough. I was compared to other women. “You should dress like that.” Or, “Your hair would great that color.” I would dress like that, wasn’t good enough. I would change my hair color, not good enough. I was starting to break down into a pile of nothingness because he was making me believe that that is exactly what I was…nothing. He made me believe this when he spoke with his painful voice filled with criticisms, anger, lies, manipulations and false promises. He had me trapped in his web of deceit and I had no idea how entangled I was. Now I realize, but the damage has been done. He had spun me so tight that I couldn’t move. He never fully killed me. Just drained me enough to ensure that I would not go too far. He needed me in a way. He needed to look like a successful family man. Strippers, young sleazy girls and other addicts looking for fun don’t make you look successful at all. I was just a prisoner for his facade.

I know you are thinking, “Why didn’t she leave sooner?” Great question. I wish that I had an answer for that one. I really wish I had an answer for that one. But I was so exhausted and so beaten up that I couldn’t move. I didn’t think I could do it on my own. He had me believing that I needed him. He had me so confused and hurt. I just wanted him to love me like I loved him. And I couldn’t understand why he didn’t love me. I mean I was a great wife to him. I loved him and treated him well. I was not denying him any pleasure at all. I tried date nights all dressed up as sexy as I could get or just sitting in front of a fire watching a movie with a great dinner. I even gave up drinking wine or alcohol in front of him unless he told me he wanted me to have a glass…I did this for 10 years for him. He was supposedly clean and sober and I wanted to support that. He wasn’t clean and sober for 90% of our relationship, so I have found out now. Painful living a lie for so long and you thought it was the truth.

That is why I hurt so much now. Acceptance is so tough when you don’t even understand what you are accepting. There is no clear definition of truth and lies anymore. There is no validation from him because he doesn’t believe the truth. He is still living in the lies and denials of the past as the truth and said he would not go there to help us or me ever. I don’t even know what was real between us. So I have just had to embrace it all as the reality I never understood and that I was not part of it in the way I had thought. I have had to accept so many more women and drugs and people and issues and pain than I ever thought possible. This has not been easy in any way over this past year of learning the truths that lurked in the shadows for 18 years. When you loved someone and believed in them so much and they turn out to not be that person…What do you do with that? Where do you start?

So in trying to heal this year, I burned all my wedding photos of us together. I burned all the photos of us together at any time. I had to burn the past that I was not the truth so that I could move on from the false reality of love and promises to the honest reality of betrayal and pain that was our marriage. It has made it easier to move past the past, but at times it just hurts so much that I wasn’t loved in return. I know people, who deal with addiction, narcissism, sociopathic tendencies and other personality issues, cannot really ever love anyone but themselves. Knowing this makes it better but not always easier. It is a process that can take years to recover from the severe emotional abuse and triggers of trauma. I am willing to work all the way through that. I just wish on days like this that it would move faster towards peace and serenity and not feeling so abused and taken advantage of by the person you gave your heart to. But sadly some people still cannot care about your pain because they would have to accept their part in it to care. I seems he cannot accept his part as he dumps his past off the cliff and just walks away towards a new life. I know that I am a good person and don’t deserve this pain given to me by him. I deserve better. I deserved better. I will get better for myself and someone will treat me better when I do heal. I am not the bad person that he has made me out to be nor was I the problem in our marriage. I tried my best to reach him and save us and our family. I couldn’t do that alone and that is well, that is okay. One day at a time I will get better and stronger and the past will be burned like the photos on that summer evening. And my occasional pain will just be a reminder of what I deserve and what I will no longer accept in my life.

I know I usually do the Breathe Out, Breathe In….Today just BREATHE IN and OUT and feel better

Why I am here?

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

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Peace comes from breathing out the bad and breathing in the good. People can try to take our peace, our love, our happiness and so much more from us. We must hold on to our hearts and minds every day, one day at a time.

Please, join me on this journey of discovering how to handle the rough seas and enjoy the sunsets on every horizon.

WHO AM I?

I am not a therapist or licensed professional. I am a warrior of my own life and my heart. I am conquering the demons of others that attempt to take me down. I have experienced the good and the bad in life and used it to learn about taking on the battle over the next hill.

I will not give guidance or tell anyone how to live or what to do. I am just a friend and supporter in recovery who shares her stories of strength, hope and faith. I have these people in my life who have reminded me how to stand when I was lying on the floor. We all need friends and support when dealing with the demons of addiction, narcissism, personality disorders and abuse. I read any amazing quote on Pinterest, “Sometimes angels are just ordinary people that help us believe in miracles again.” I believe my friends and support are angels sent to help me when it is too dark to see a way out.

Just please, do not use this as a substitution for professional help or support groups. They are so important for your recovery to get all the help necessary to heal the wounds left by someone else.

If a loved one or you is in need of treatment for an addiction, contact SAMHSA Substance and Mental Health Services Administration for guidance on finding the right help. 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

If someone is abusing you, please get help immediately. It is never okay for anyone to physically or mentally hurt you. Contact National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit at www.thehotline.org

I love sunsets. They remind me that I have survived another hard day or I have enjoyed another great day, whichever way I can look at it in that moment of glorious color. Sunsets make us stop and look for the beauty in every day. It is there and waiting to show us gratitude, hope, strength, faith and love. Remember, tomorrow is always another day to start over and do better and feel better. God bless you on this journey of self-forgiveness and healing from the trauma that has brought you here. We can always start over from where we stand at this moment, we don’t have to wait for a sunrise.