Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Not that it needs explaining, but this song typifies what is going on inside the addict. It is seriously tragic.

...But not fatal!  Not hopeless.  I love what you hear at the end of the video; the first step toward redemption from addiction. "Sir, we have a containment breach.... we lost 'em.... they're out in the open." That part... is seriously beautiful.

by Skillet

The secret side of me, I never let you see
I keep it caged but I can't control it
So stay away from me, the beast is ugly
I feel the rage and I just can't hold it

It's scratching on the walls, in the closet, in the halls
It comes awake and I can't control it
Hiding under the bed, in my body, in my head
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

My secret side I keep hid under lock and key
I keep it caged but I can't control it
'Cause if I let him out he'll tear me up, break me down
Why won't somebody come and save me from this, make it end?

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

It's hiding in the dark, it's teeth are razor sharp
There's no escape for me, it wants my soul, it wants my heart
No one can hear me scream, maybe it's just a dream
Maybe it's inside of me, stop this monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I hate what I've become, the nightmare's just begun
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I feel it deep within, it's just beneath the skin
I must confess that I feel like a monster
I've gotta lose control, do something radical
I must confess that I feel like a monster

I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster
I, I feel like a monster

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This is my prayer, and what I want my prayer to be. And I think this week it's time I tried S-Anon....

I haven't been very real on my blog. One reason is that I have so much going on in my head and so little time to sort it out, much less write it down. The other is because I'm afraid of being judged; there, I said it. If I can't spit my thoughts out coherently, someone might get the wrong idea, which might have a variety of ramifications. I want to come to all the proper solutions before I write, so that every post can be this display of moral perfection. But when all I can see is sadness or anger or confusion, I write nothing. I can be really mean, and I don't want to be really mean publicly. I guess I'm afraid of anyone seeing me work it out, which is really sad to me because it's the "working it out" that holds the story.

But then I remember the part where I'm rarely allowed to think a complete thought, much less blog it, and I have to just forgive myself....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Is Meant, An Encouraging Thought

I was watching Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring) the other night and was rivited by this conversation between Gandalf and Frodo, after Frodo discoverd Gollum following them through the mines of Moria.

Gandalf: He hates and loves the Ring, as he hates and loves himself. He will never be rid of his need for it.

Frodo: It's a pity Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance.

Gandalf: Pity? It is pity that stayed Bilbo's hand! Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill... before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.
I'm not sure what I can make the Ring represent. Sometimes I think it's sin, or a treacherous desire, or addiction. Sometimes I think it's marriage. Either way, Gandalf's words are very profound to me. Like anyone who has been betrayed by their spouse, I have spent my share of thoughts wishing I had heeded all the warning signs and never married this dysfunctional man at all. Wishing I had loved myself just a little more back then, and had higher expectations of the man to whom I would promise my heart. Sometimes I dare to let into my mind the terrible, futile wish that I'd "killed" the marriage when I'd had the chance... at the fist disclosure of infidelity, back when we only had two kids . They are sad, crushing wishes to wish.

But there are other forces at work in this world besides the will of evil. I know we could argue for hours about predestination and whether or not I was meant to marry my husband. I think that when we think of 'meant' we get the sense that there is some mind authoring the intention, and it certainly wasn't our own mind. We wouldn't mean for betrayal and heartache to happen to ourselves! And if it wasn't our own mind, that means we are out of control, and who is this that intends for us such grief and sorrow?! Because one would only mean to have good, happy, pleasant things happen to oneself, and if another means something bad to happen, then that person is certainly evil! Right? Or...am I projecting my emotions onto the definition of meant?

If I was meant to marry my husband as a part of a greater design by a God whom I firmly believe is good and loving, then the intention was not to harm me. There is no emotional intention, just design. It is not hard for me to imagine how my persevering through this path I'm on could bring about numerous positive results. Historically and generationally, I am working almost from the ground up. On a quilt, I am the ugly brown patch which works beautifully into the big picture. You will gasp in awe when you finally stand back and see it as a whole design...and I am okay with that. It is encouraging to know that you are part of a design, and that everything that is happening to you is not just willy-nilly purposelessness. The only thing I have to worry about is what to do with the time that is given to me. Glorify my Maker, or not. Hate everyone around me, or be at peace. Because even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that before my story is over (including the stories of my children and grandchildren), my addict husband has more parts to play--for good or ill. And the pity I take on him may rule the fate of many. And the suckie thing about fate is that you cannot control whether it will bring you or your loved ones happiness or pain. NOT having pity will result in a different fate, but fate nonetheless. However, we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. And again, I am ok with that. There is freedom in that conclusion because the responsibility to deal out death and judgment has been lifted. It was an impossible ambition anyway.

I have many more questions as to how I am to spend the time that is given to me, and what it should look like. But for right now I know that time should be spent sleeping, so I'll save those for another post...

Friday, March 27, 2009


I have recently decided to step up into a social experience I formerly thought only reserved for the hoity-toity...I am joining a Book Club, and I'm really looking forward to it. The book we are reading is Nickle and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich, and I think the book club might be a good way to ameliorate a story that is interesting, but a bit depressing.

My reading was interrupted last night by a brief conversation with my husband about his job status, and when he left I finally shed some tears*, admitting that I felt worried about our financial future, and that I felt lonely and sad for being married to someone I don't feel like I connect to. When I was discovering the word ameliorate above, I came across this quote:
In every human being there is a wish to ameliorate his own condition. --Macaulay.
So many times I am baffled that this presupposed posture of "every human being" seems to be void in my husband....a characteristic of addicts. I am secretly thrilled when he looks in the mirror at his gut and claims to be unsatisfied with the pounds he's packed on in the last year at his new desk job. Maybe-- just maybe-- he will attempt some self-improvement!

But alas, I should focus so much energy into my own self-improvement. And with that, I'm going to go run on the treadmill, take the kids somewhere fun, and stop eating rice crispies just for the texture.

*Recently my emotions wait in the wings like an impending food poisoning which leaves you lying awake in bed for the final signal to run to the toilet. I wish it would just come so I can hurl and get it over with, but I cannot simply will it to rise to the surface so I just feel miserable and try to ignore it until the bug takes it's course.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Too Late...(?)

I don't know how I stopped on the country station the other day (I'm not a fan of the country music) but I was surprised by this song that embodies how I'm feeling in my marriage right now.

I honestly don't think my husband understands the gravity of betraying my trust so...many...times. I think because I'm not punishing him with anger and banishment right now, he actually thinks he's....I don't know how to put it. In the game? But I feel like those last lies eradicated the last remaining shred of hope I had for him, for a decent marriage, for a normal relationship where trust and respect abide.

Of the four loves, eros has been completely destroyed, like the paper target at a carnival shooting booth, the ragged pieces scattered in the dirt. My husband stands holding the smoking rifle, not understanding what he has killed.

He lays down more money.

"Tha's the only target we had!" says the carnie, as he shuts down the booth, taking down the sign, stocking up ammo on the shelf. The sun is setting, families are laughing, leaving with their cotton candy. Cars fire up and amble out of the bumpy parking field. My husband stands with a half-smile, feeling like he should put down the gun but not quite knowing why. "What about my prize?" he asks.

"No prizes fer what you done. Park's closed. We done here. Come back tomorrah!" The carnie grabs the rifle and lets down the awning, disappearing from sight.

My husband turns and the sun is gone. A piece of the target flutters past his boot. "No prize..." he mumbles. Park's closed. We're done here.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Body: Unadorned Clay Pot

"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body." (2 Corinthians 4.6-11)

One of the discussion questions at the women's forum this weekend was, "In what ways have you seen beauty show up in pain?" The obvious answer for me was childbirth. The birth of a child has got to be the most straight-forward, downright, most miraculous and wonderful result of pain on the planet. I can't think of anything that compares.

Although a close second would be the worst hike I ever took: 6 miles straight up a mountain in Austria. There were blisters, tears, hunger, burning lungs, lots of spitting, willing the legs to move when I couldn't feel them anymore. But then when we got to the top of the range..... It left me speechless. Angels were singing. A cool breeze waft across my sweaty brow and I stood there shaking, mouth agape as before me in all directions were layers upon layers of mountain summits, their colors fading from the dirt and grass I stood on to smokey purple and fuchsia and gold as far as the eye could see. To this day, it was the most beautiful, serene thing I have ever laid eyes on. That view made the day's torturous trek not only worth it, but a victorious testimony of what my physical body was capable of. -Ha! I was nowhere near dead! It was my spirit that has a tendency to be weak and vulnerable; my attitude that is shaky. That's why I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil. 4.13)

But the most significant, meaningful way I've seen beauty show up in pain has been in the way God has taken my broken, wounded, betrayed and sinful heart and saved it. Changed it. Renamed it. Redeemed it.

In my previous post I explained this clay pot I live in. The skin I'm in. My shell. It's not my best feature.
In living with an addict, I have been majorly stressed out, confused and uncertain, definitely abused, disrespected and taken advantage of, and my heart has been dealt repeated blows. But each pain I have felt has also been carried by Jesus on the cross (plus those of the rest of humanity). I believe that is what it means that we carry around in our body the death of Jesus.

But Jesus didn't stay down. Jesus conquered death! Jesus is alive and he is inside of me, as promised!
So, I may be an unadorned, clay pot....but check out my strengths:
  • I am at ease, composed, emboldened, proud, reassured, fixed, whole, connected (not crushed!)
  • I have confidence, faith, cheerfulness, hapiness, hope, joy and trust (not despair!)
  • I have been adopted, cherished, defended, maintained, supported (not abandoned!)
  • I am intact, protected, restored...saved (not destroyed!) (...and thank you, thesaurus.com!)
This is the life of Jesus, being revealed in my body...my clay pot...after being devastated by betrayal. There were times when I prayed for God to just take my life because the pain was so great. I remember late one night after a major disclosure, on an errand to the drug store in a sketchy part of town, thinking it wouldn't matter if I were raped and stabbed and left for dead, because I couldn't imagine a betrayal and pain worse than the one I'd just suffered.

I'm telling you, if you can't remember anything about the Bible, if you know nothing else, remember this: Jesus carried the burden of the whole world's sins on the cross: He died in my place. And then rose from the dead. And is alive still. It's so simple! The pain of the whole world's betrayal is worse than the pain and betrayal I have suffered, that's what is worse. And because he lives, so can I.

Beauty from pain!

My Body: Enthralled

Today I went to a forum for women at my church entitled "What is it to Have a Women's Body?" This is the blurb about it:
The female form often stands judged, critiqued, and condemned. How can our physicality be known, nurtured, and celebrated? Age, vigor, beauty... history, hurts, and illness. Join other women to examine our flesh and bones from all angles, and seek a sense of health and peace as you live in your own skin.
I wish I had spoken up more. There were a few girls at my table who had enough things to say that filled up the time, but for me, the discussion questions were so loaded, I didn't know where I would start, or how much I could get out coherently before we were cut short by the next speaker. By the time I got up the nerve to start speaking, time was up. Maybe this is what "older and wiser" actually is: life has dealt you so much experience, you just don't know where to start. So you keep your mouth shut.

Not that I'm older and wiser. Yeah...sometimes I'm older, sometimes I'm not. Sometimes I find others are "none the wiser" and I know a whole world of things I wish I didn't. But let me remind myself that it's how much I let God use that to change me, and to see things from His perspective that qualifies me as "wiser".

Another reason I didn't speak up was because I didn't know if my answers were 100% relevant to the forum. People were talking about back pain and surgeries, and all I could think about was how my crazy journey of a thousand betrayals has changed the way I view God and my body and my spirit, and how it is all intermingled. How I have been exposed and humiliated and vulnerable in front of strangers, naked before God in my little sewn-together fig leaves. How He has clothed me in a different skin, and given me contact lenses to see better.

So...this is my do-over. I'll write it all out here, and it will hopefully make more sense in this context anyway. I'll start with the little souvenir the host of my table left us: a flowery bookmark with a verse on it that has, ironically, been a key part of my journey.
"The king is enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord." Ps. 45.11
The use of "lord" there is also translated as "husband" and is the same word Sarah used for Abraham in Genesis. God is speaking to us as the bride of Christ; Psalm 45 is a wedding song. I can't remember when it was exactly, but a few years ago a friend of mine gave me that verse, printed out in a cheap silver frame that didn't match my decor at all. I remember thinking that I needed so desperately to believe those words, that I didn't care what they were written on. I put it up where I could see it every day, in the bathroom, where I was most critical of myself; next to the toothbrushes, so I couldn't ignore it. I resolved to read those words every day until I believed them, thanking God that it was true, confessing my disbelief.

Oh, how I struggled with those words. Let's just start with beauty. Now, I knew there's wasn't a single thing beautiful about me. Well, my eyes were ok. And sometimes I had a good hair day. But I was fat and lumpy after having four children, every inch of my skin had some blemish on it. I could go on and on. And as for inner beauty, I was angry, lazy, depressed, and perverted. One of the things that has grieved me the most has been the sexual immorality I adopted in order to rationalize the changes I saw in my husband. I wanted so badly to have his love and attention, I intuitively knew that demoralizing myself was the way to get it. But in the end, even that didn't work, and I was left feeling ugly to the core.

And yet I knew I was a child of God. If He says I have beauty, there must be a shred of something He is clinging to. After all, when God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. (Gen. 5.1) I was sure I was nothing like God...and I really couldn't wrap my mind around beauty being about anything other than the body. My husband had abandoned a relationship with my heart and soul and was abusing his own, and all that was left to attract his attention was my body, and like I said, that was an ugly mess. I had fallen hook, line and sinker for every lie the culture tells about the woman's body, and was convinced I was pretty much the opposite of beauty. Every important man in my life had confirmed these lies as true, and I knew my mom believed them too. I'm pretty sure I can safely say I was at zero hope for ever posessing beauty, much less enthralling anyone with it.

But here was God, telling me I had it, and that He was enthralled. Enthralled? That's a pretty strong word. But then there's that second half of the verse: honor him, for he is your lord. I know God doesn't lie. If He thinks something is beautiful, then it is. Even if I don't see it. And by trying to believe God's word-- even if I don't see how it's true-- I knew that would somehow be honoring him, as weak of an effort as that was.

Eventually, these baby steps toward God brought me into the light, and God started to heal what was broken in my spirit. As I believed more and more that God loved me, I began to regard whatever little beauty I had as something God wanted me to honor Him with. If I used my body to appeal to a man who was living in darkness, that meant I had to go into that darkness myself. Contrasted with the enthralled gaze of my lord, I started to need my husband's distracted attention less and less, and I would slowly stop pursuing his approval...

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Thesis Statement

I think I am a perfectionist. And not the kind of perfectionist who gets things done immaculately, making others feel inadequate and sloppy. No, I'm the kind of perfectionist that is paralyzed, refusing to move forward until she sees a flawless path before her because she is so afraid to fail. It is easy to encourage--and even to expect--others (like my husband) to approach life with a bold, large faith, stepping forward in brave leadership. I have full confidence that God will honor those risk-takers with providence and protection. But when it comes to my own journey, I sometimes feel frozen, not sure where God's presence fits into the details. Like He's only good for the big stuff.

Which is why I have had such a hard time sitting down and putting my thoughts into this blog.

You see, my expectations are extremely high. I want to spit out my experience in order of how things happened, from start to finish. I want it to read like a book. In fact, when I'm done, I want it to be able to go straight to print; any editor I hire will read through it and say, "why'd you hire me?! It's perfect!"

And of course, everything I write will be exactly what every person needs to hear. Everyone will relate, and millions will be changed by my wise words and touching exposition. Like none of it has been said before. Pshh.

That's a huge burden to lay on myself.

So I decided that I needed to write a thesis statement for this blog. I Googled "thesis" and got some help from some university, because I've never been good at understanding what the thesis is all about. And here's what I came up with:

The question is: why am I writing this blog?

The answer: Because God has met me in such amazing ways as my husband recovers from his sex addiction, I want to share my side of the journey in the hopes of encouraging others who have experienced betrayal.

So there. I reserve the right to come back and modify it as needed. I'm serious about learning how to create a proper thesis statement, so if any of you have an editorial remark, by all means leave it!

Now, in light of that thesis statement, I hereby proclaim that I am just going to start jotting down things as they come to me, no perfection necessary. There will be no chronological order. One day I'll post something that just happened, some posts will be something I wrote in my journal a long time ago. So if you're looking to identify with my journey in order to know when the pain and madness will end, you probably won't find what you're looking for. But I can tell you this: there is life after betrayal. Be patient. Help and healing will find you.

I hope you enjoy my story....thanks for reading!