Make Adultery Illegal in all 50 States!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 152: My Journey has Ended

My husband disclosed to me, 11 months after the fact, that he never received a phone call. He discovered my affair from a "made up" Facebook name. I had been caught by someone and I'll never know who it was. But it doesn't matter who it was. Someone trying to help me and my family.........

After learning of this, my thoughts went haywire. I replayed events in my mind over and over. This is what we call "Intrusive Thoughts". Here as defined by Wikipedia:

Intrusive thoughts
From Wikipedia

Intrusive thoughts are unwelcome involuntary thoughts, images, or unpleasant ideas that may become
obsessions, are upsetting or distressing, and can be difficult to manage or eliminate.[1] Most people experience these thoughts. When they are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and sometimes attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), the thoughts may become paralyzing, anxiety-provoking, or persistent. Intrusive thoughts may also be associated with episodic memory, unwanted worries or memories from OCD,[2] posttraumatic stress disorder, other anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or psychosis.[3] According to Lee Baer (a specialist at the OCD clinic of Massachusetts General Hospital), intrusive thoughts, urges, and images are of inappropriate things at inappropriate times, usually falling into three categories: "inappropriate aggressive thoughts, inappropriate sexual thoughts, or blasphemous religious thoughts".[4]

I felt paralyzed. I felt as if I had been thrown back to Day 1 of recovery. Not only were my thoughts all over the place, but also my emotions were swirling. The intrusive thoughts of doubt were now present in my mind and my heart.

I asked God to help me........he answered.

My daughter and I sat in mass last Sunday listening to the homily of a visiting Priest. Let's call him Father Messenger. As I listened to Fr. Messenger, I began to feel as if HE was the one I was supposed to confess my adultry to. He was speaking of intrusive thoughts playing over and over in our heads. He was speaking of moral people committing immoral acts. He mentioned he was 77 years old (my dad's age).

I began to think that God was telling me something. After 8.5 months of crawling in the desert, here was God holding out a Chalice of water in his hands.

"Was I starting to believe again?" I mean REALLY believe like I used to? Yes, I think I was.

Fr. Messenger then said he would give individual counsel for anyone who needed it. There it was........healing was open for the taking. I reached out to take a sip from the Chalice.

I met with Fr. Messenger yesterday for a half hour. I got more out of that half hour with him than I had in years of therapy. Why? Because he was a priest who was holding me to a higher standard instead of a "non-judgemental" therapist who was helping me to "find myself" and encouraging me to follow my feelings.

Yes, we are given free will but we must learn how to use it wisely and for the benefit of all...not just ourselves.

I was able to confess my mortal sin to Fr. Messenger and admit to him that I hadn't been to confession in 25 years. This was the one and only time I felt as if I was NOT being judged. He absolved me of my sins and gave me "thought stopping" techniques to use to keep me in reality.

How is it  a priest was able to listen to me talk about such a horrible sin and not pound me down for it? Because he's the messenger of God. He, by no means, was condoning my sin but he helped me realize that yesterday was the first day of a new beginning for me and my family and my life.

So, this is why this is my last entry for now. I feel calm now. I feel as though God is back in my life. I feel strong. I feel as though my journey has ended and a new one is beginning. A new one that I don't want to include in this blog.

The image I have now is of me walking away from the fog and mess and out of the desert hand in hand with my husband and my children. And as I look back, because admit it we always look back, I see nothing on the other end of the fog. And I know that whatever is there is left to God to deal with.

May you be as fortunate as I have been in recovering from your sins. May you be strong and keep on the right path.

May God Bless You!
Irish Triplets

Romans 7:22-8:17

22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature[
a] a slave to the law of sin.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 130: High Wire Act

Marriage is a high wire act. We walk a fine line as to what to say to and do with our spouses. Tip too much to one side and you end up hurting your spouse (and yourself).
 
So, what do we do when we feel unbalanced and unsure of what to say or do for fear of hurting those around us?
 
Sometimes we feel like jumping off. That's the easy way out because you end up dead at the bottom unless the safety net catches you.
 
When do you know when there's a safety net below you? What do you do if your safety net is your spouse? Should the trust and comfort be so high that we can walk the wire with our spouse as the safety net?
 
Is it a betrayal to have a friend as your safety net?
 
I walked the wire and chose a net other than my husband which now leads me to walk the line without a safety net.  Yes, sometimes I feel like jumping just to see what happens. Otherwise, I walk very slowly and carefully. Sometimes I'm very sloppy in the way I walk the line because maybe I'm tired or weak. Other days I feel so strong and confident and walk across without a wobble........but eventually I get tired.
 
How do we keep up the strength to always walk the line responsibily and carefully? It's not easy. There's always a chance you'll fall and might not have a safety net below you. Then you die or are greatly injured.
 
How do we come up with the courage to walk the wire again when we've already fallen and hurt ourselves and others? Isn't it safer to stay at the bottom...to stay "grounded"?
 
Or is it better to walk the wire and take your chances?
 
I don't have answers to any of these questions. I just know that everytime I feel like I am stable on that wire that there is SOMETHING that makes me wobble and afraid to fall.
 
Maybe we are supposed to walk the wire WITH our spouses. But then who is the safety net?
Are we supposed to meet our spouses in the middle of the wire? Or do we keep going and meet them on their end?
 
Are we supposed to be their safety net? Or should someone else? Or just leave it up to God?
 
The most important lesson is to at least TRY to walk the wire. Don't stand at the bottom and watch everyone else do it. And should you fall.......get back up and try again.
 

Revelation 2:4-5
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day 125: The Broken Toaster Oven

My toaster oven at work was knocked over and broken. I came in Monday morning to find the handle cracked off and the rack disengaged. 

My first thought was, "Who did this?"

My second thought was, "Crap, now I have to buy a new one and I just disposed of the 'old' one at our house."

I used it broken several times. It worked, but not very well. 

I slowly began to repair it. I hot glued the handle back on. See, at first I thought it could only be screwed on. Then I realized I could just hot glue it. Finally I could use it without a plastic knife to wedge it open and worrying about getting burned.

Then the rack completely came out. I stood there cursing in my head. "Great, now I can't use it at all." I began to play with it and realized it wasn't broken on the inside. It just hadn't been put back together correctly. The pieces were not placed in the proper places.

So, I put it back together correctly and now it's as good as new.

Why am I telling you this? Because it made me realize that something I thought was broken really wasn't broken at all. I had jumped to conclusions and had gotten upset without thinking it through.

This is what I did to my marriage. One day it appeared to be permanently broken, so I chose the path of least resistance (in my stupid head). I turned to someone else. I pretended to fix my marriage by creating a relationship with someone else. 


But, see, the pieces were not put back together correctly. I assumed it was not repairable, so I left the handle off and the rack placed incorrectly. I tried to continue to "use" my marriage to my benefits all while attempting to use a new toaster oven. 

Finally, I realized my old toaster oven was temporarily broken but could be put back together. I "cheated" by trying to replace my broken toaster oven with a shiny new one that APPEARED to be "the best toaster oven ever" (the soul mate thing).

Ha.....now I know why infidelity is called cheating (again, easy road in my drugged head). 

I intend to put my marriage back together so that it works better than it ever has. I still think about the shiny new toaster that requires no work. Until, that is, THAT toaster oven becomes old and doesn't function properly either. Except the shiny new toaster oven wasn't what it appeared to be.......it burned a hell of a lot of people during it's use.

Pray to God to help you repair what is familiar and "old" to you before running to shiny and new. Every relationship eventually becomes tarnished.

 Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 117: Valentine's Day

How fortunate I feel today that my husband is still at home with me. Not only that, but also his willingness to meet my needs.

How torn apart we were because we didn't know how to meet each other's needs and avoid love busters. (If you don't know what I'm referring to then visit http://www.marriagebuilders.com/).

Neither one of us ever appreciated Valentine's Day. Today my hubby said, "What's not to love about a holiday designed to celebrate our love for each other?  Onward and upward!  :)"

How thankful I am for my perfect match.

My love.....tonight I vow to give you my full attention. I vow to never hurt you again like I have in the past. I vow to love you in the MB way for the rest of our lives! I vow to love our children unconditionally. I vow to be the best person I can be from this day forward (actually made that vow to myself on September 16th).

I love you!

1 John 4:8

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 111: Revenge

Lately, I've been wanting to get revenge on my former AP. I sit here and think how dare he not suffer like my husband and I have!
I told my psychiatrist about this and she asked me what revenge on him would accomplish. Would I really be happy inflicting pain on him? Yea, I might be but that's not my main concern. My main concern is how he would retaliate against me. It would be a never ending circle of disasters. Besides, I don't want him back in my life in any way. An "eye for an eye" doesn't justify revenge.
Why do we want revenge? To teach someone a lesson in how "it" feels. "It" meaning the feeling of pain, suffering, and hurt. Revenge is a mistake for the simple fact that you're putting energy into the devil. You're giving the devil power. You're feeling evil like he does.
Better to take away the devil's power by ignoring him. The devil wants you to get revenge on him because that tells him that you still care about him.
The best revenge is to live happily with Jesus in your life. Let the devil burn in his own  hell.

The one horrible fact that I didn't consider when I had an affair is the negative effect it has on SO MANY people.
I was ok with it because I was in denial that anyone would get hurt. How selfish and thoughtless. How disgusted I am with myself about that.
Just like I was ok with "he who shall not be named"'s embezzlement. It's because I didn't stop to think the effect it had on people he didn't even know. What if someone lost their job because he embezzled all that money? If they had kids and a house to pay for? A flood of consequences that we don't think about when we sin.
Revenge, too, has negative consequences. Turn your focus to the angel and ignore the devil. This will piss him off!!

Romans 12:18-20

18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”
 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 106: Illusion vs. Reality

Reality TV is NOT reality. In truth, it is an illusion presented to us as reality. The "real" people act as they want you to see them. Editors cut and paste to make the scenarios something they're not. They don't show us the ugly truth.
What is reality? Is it something that must be seen? Felt? Heard?

"I saw you do it!"
"It isn't what it looked like."

"I heard you say that!"
"That's not what I said. You heard me wrong!"

"The cat bit me!"
"No, it was just a "love" bite".

Is not a schizophrenics hallucinations real to them? Of course they are.

"But there really aren't spiders on the ceiling."
"Well, he is SEEING spiders on the ceiling. It's very REAL to him."

So, now I ask myself. What was the REALITY of my affair?

One of the topics Christian Author Dave Carder discusses in Close Calls are the relatively consistent phases of sexual affairs and infidelities.
Carder’s first phase of an affair is Growing Mutual Attraction (for me lasted about 2 months):
This is the phase where I "dumped"  my troubles and insecurities on my AP and vice versa. We were both "lost" and lonely and clung to each other.
ILLUSION: That he could make it all better.
REALITY: Yes, I was feeling awful. The reality is that this led to making my life worse.
Entanglement (8 months): The phase of complimenting one another, justifying the affair, crossing the line, feeling high.
ILLUSION: I NEEDED this to feel good. My husband could never give me what I needed. My marriage had always been awful. I considered leaving my family.
REALITY: A selfish bubble of sin. I should have turned to my husband. My husband is my husband for a reason. He is good and true and everything I ever wanted. I was just too scared to talk to him about how I felt because I made  him into someone who wouldn't listen when, in reality, he would have been more than willing.
My AP was a train wreck. A raging lying alcoholic with a gambling problem.

Destabilization (2 Years): The guilt and shame stage. Knowing what I was doing was wrong. Trying to break it off.
ILLUSION: Tried to break it off numerous times. Telling him I'm not leaving my family.
REALITY: I was addicted to the high. I had no intention of every stopping unless I was caught. I was scared to death of feeling depressed.

Termination and Resolution (11 months and counting): Although it feels that trust and security has been built up between affair partners, maintaining the feelings of trust and safety become difficult. The artificial intimacy built by sexual relationships begins to fade and the passion wanes.

ILLUSION: He is my soulmate and would never hurt me. Someday we'll be together.
REALITY: Neither one of us could trust each other. We were "using" each other. He exposed us because he is a psychopath and wanted to hurt me and my family.
I had everything to lose.

Notice I was an  infidel for 2 years and 10 months and 2 years of that was spent in the Destabilization Stage. That is NOT something good. The cold hard reality is that I was miserable. I was masking my pain with temporary highs. Just like being on drugs...........

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3545299

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 102: Temptation

Affairs are more common than anyone knows but they are so "taboo" that no one talks about them. Perhaps if we opened up more and talked more about them, then they wouldn't be such a temptation.

Lately, everywhere I go, I wonder who around me is having an affair or is trying to recover from one. That stay at home mom in your playgroup.......could be her. Your co-worker in the cube next to you....could be him. The bus driver, the cop, the deli worker, the lawyer, the judge, your general practitioner.....could be any one of them. Temptation doesn't discriminate. Hollywood stars and politicians prove this to us.

Here is how the Bible defines temptation: Temptation is a state experienced when a person thinks thoughts, considers intentions or desires things which are contrary to the thoughts, intents and desires of Almighty God. When those thoughts are fulfilled through action, those intentions translated into achievements and
those desires satisfied by accomplishment, then sin is committed. Sin unrepented of by the
sinner and not forgiven by the Father leads to death. Temptation is a link in the chain of
circumstances that leads to death (Jas. 1:14,15).

So, then I sit here and I think "What is the purpose of temptation?" and "Why must we be so tortured by temptation?"

What I didn't realize when I had an affair is that the consequences of the affair (the sin) go way beyond just me. Like Eve, I was naive enough to think that what I was doing "wasn't so bad". Just a taste of the apple won't hurt anything. Ha! Yea, right. Look at the destruction caused by "just a taste" of temptations. That "just a taste" becomes a wicked after-taste that stays with you forever and, not just in your mouth, but in your head and your heart.

A sin so wicked as infidelity will never leave you once you've committed it. There is a reason we are taught not to break the 10 Commandments. It is for our BENEFIT to live by the 10 Commandments. The pain that follows breaking one of them is not worth the "just a taste" one takes.

So, how do we resist temptation? GET RID OF IT! Forget your affair partner even exists, drain the alcohol down the sink, crush your computer (Have you seen "Fire Proof"?), pretend the drug dealer has died....do whatever you need to do to survive.

God knows it isn't easy.

Mark 9:43

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,[a] to the unquenchable fire.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 98: Grace: The buzzword

As I've been trying to find my way back to God, I have been reading A LOT of self help books and memoirs. All of them have had a religious foundation to them. As I do this reading, I've discovered one word being used over and over again. "Grace"! This is almost a religious buzzword lately.

So, then I think: What EXACTLY is Grace?

Grace is defined in several ways:

Beauty----as in she swam with grace

A favor or pardon from a superior....as in Her boss showed her grace for being late

So, then I suppose "By the grace of God" means that God is beautiful and will forgive us for our sins as in God will show you grace for telling a lie. Or that God will protect us---as in By the grace of God, he escaped the accident.

My grandmother's name was Grace and she was a saint. Ironically, my affair partner's niece is named Grace and I WAS her godmother.

Is it our sole purpose to earn grace from God so that we will be allowed into the kingdom of heaven?

Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 96: The Rollercoaster

I realize I haven't written in almost two weeks. This past two weeks continues to be a rollercoaster ride. My remorse sometimes overwhelms me. I wake up and I can't believe what I have done. I can't believe how I have hurt my spouse and betrayed God (and myself). I ruined our "normal". However, neither one of us was happy with the old normal. How do we go about taking on a new normal?
I feel like this pain, guilt, and remorse will be with me forever. I suppose I deserve that after being so horribly hurting and selfish.
I was so naive. I had no idea what I was doing would cause such havoc. I feel like I was on drugs. I guess in a way I was. I wanted the "high" so badly. I look back and see myself sitting in my own shit in a crack house. AND the dealer continues to tempt me. I was comfortable in my own crap. Now that the fog has cleared......I see it for what it was and I'm mortified.
Affair recovery really is like a rollercoaster. Sometimes we are on an uphill and feeling calm and hopeful. Other times, more often than not, we are staring down at the hill waiting for the car to drop. (Like the picture below!).
It's so scary. Not knowing if the ride is over and I've got to get off. Not knowing if the ride will ever end. Sick to my stomach as if I'm going around in loops with no end in sight.
At the same time, I have to make sure my husband isn't sick to his stomach, isn't falling out of the car, isn't riding without a harness, isn't going downhill too much, isn't going round and round.
I often don't know how to do that while I am trying to endure the pain and sickness of my own ride. But it's like an airplane. I have to put my oxygen mask on first. I've got to make sure that I am not so sick that I can't help him. After all, I put him on this rollercoaster.
Did I really do that? Yes, I did. How do I live with that? How do I look my children in the eyes when they are older and suffering through relationships of their own?
My ride is not special by any  means. It is not unique. There are many others all over the world on the same horrible ride.
Please get us off this rollercoaster!! God give us strength to walk the straight and narrow when getting off the ride. God give us the strength to stay off the ride! Is the short gratification worth how horrible you feel when you get off the coaster? No, it's not. EVERYTIME you get on that ride, you will leave it feeling sick and wondering why you got on it in the first place!
Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 84: The Water Dam

I knew last night that something was on my husband's mind. He looked distracted. He looked sad. I knew he was thinking about my affair. I felt so helpless.

Nothing I say matters. My word can't be believed because I was such a liar. So, I have to show him through my actions that I won't have another affair. I have to show him through my actions that I'm remorseful.

But how do I ever take his sadness away? How do we recover from something that you can't take back? How do you live with yourself when you know you have committed a mortal sin? I had to push God away during my affair because he was a reminder that I was committing a mortal sin.

How do I have the right to correct my kids for using a curse word when I've done something so awful? Is it my fault that our youngest lies a lot or is it just the way she is? How do I convince her to stop?

Lies are like water hitting a dam. They build and build until they break the dam. I have broken my dam. I have broken the strength that was holding me up. I became greedy which, in the end, broke my dam.
Now I'm swimming aimlessly. Not sure where my water is going to go. Hoping my husband can put the protective barrier back up. What if he can't? What happens to us then?

Dams keep storms from wrecking havoc on the things around it. It keeps those "things" safe. Until the storm is so strong that it breaks the dam. Then those things get flooded and ruined. Rebuilding takes a long time.

I have to keep believing that, in time, the damage from my storm of lies will lessen. I know it will never cease. It's too late for that. Storms will go on for a lifetime but it's how we handle them. Can you stop your storm with a damn of protectivity or will your storm be so strong that it breaks and destroys and floods?

So, for now, I float along trying to earn back my dam of security. It takes time..........

John 8:43-47 says, "Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 76: So Typical

It doesn't matter what your nationality, color of your skin, or where you live. It doesn't matter if you're rich or blue collar or poor. It doesn't matter if you're highly educated or not. Heck, it doesn't even matter what your religion/beliefs are. When something hurts.......it hurts. There is no logic to it. This is what we call grief. Grief doesn't happen just when someone dies. Grief happens with any kind of loss. No matter how small or trivial this loss may seem to someone else......if it causes you grief then it's a huge loss for YOU.

We are all the same. We all suffer the same insecurities and fears. What differes is the extent to which we suffer.

As I read other people's stories of infidelity, all I think is "so typical". The waywards have all the same reasons for straying. The betrayed feel the same emotions when finding out.

We'll do anything to stop the hurt. If you're saying, "Not me" or "I would never" you're even more vulnerable to sin. The next time you're tempted...... STOP and think about the pain you'll be causing those closest to you. Don't be naive that your sins won't have a negative effect on others.

Ask God for strength. You don't believe? Well, then how do we explain emotional hurt? It's not something that can be scientifically proved. Sure, your brain chemicals change but what brings about that change? What causes such horrible pain? A FEELING!!

Do whatever you need to do to resist!

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 71: Who I was..........

My parents had all our old films put on DVD. My dad has this great old projector that could catch fire in a second (Have you seen Cinema Paradiso?). So, as a special Christmas gift, my parents had this DVD made. I've watched it twice so far.

What I noticed the first time was how I had no hesitation in hugging and kissing my parents.......especially my mom. Even when I was thirteen. I don't remember myself that way. I remember being embarrassed about it but I really wasn't. Perhaps I think I was always this way because I was so nasty to her on my prom video. I hate watching that video because of that. I had just turned 18 and expected her to do everything for me. Why do we talk so horribly to the ones we love the most?

The second time I watched the films, I noticed how happy I was as a child. Again, I don't recall being so happy. All I seem to remember is the pain of my depression when I was 19. The cloud of depression over my memories. I was in awe of myself. I was so excited about life. I would try anything. Nothing but the moment mattered. So, when do things change? When do we stop enjoying life and start worrying about everything? When do we start turning to drugs and alcohol and affairs to deaden our pain? Where does the pain come from in the first place? Why, when my life is so enriching and GOOD, that I seek out pain? Do I seek out pain or does it just find me?

I don't yet have any answers to these questions. One thing I do know is that I like who I WAS. I want to go back to that. I want to be the girl who was so excited about what life had to offer. I want to be the girl who enjoys the moment. I want to be the girl who knows the future holds only good things. This is going to take a lot of effort on my part but I owe it not only to my family, but also to myself.

That effort begins today. I must find the old me. I know she's still in there. I have to find ways to bring her out. She's good, sweet, happy, healthy, smart and she knows how to LOVE!

My  New Year's resolution is to find her again and show her to everyone else!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 70: The Missing Teeth

This morning I was reading Sarah Markleys blog and adored how her youngest daughter is missing one of her top teeth. My 6 year old lost both of her top teeth during her school photo. I have to say this is one of my favorite photos. One of those moments when I wish I could freeze time. Time melts and then refreezes and the melts again.

Babies cry when their teeth are growing in. Those sweet baby teeth. A sign of innocence. Then the teeth become loose but don't hurt when they fall out or when the "big kid" teeth grow in. Why no growing pains with teeth while a child? The temporary teeth hurt more than the permanent teeth. This reminds of me of how instant gratification "appears" to be painless. However, in the end it's the permanent relationships that hurt us the least. The temporary relationships are temporary for a reason......they help us only for a short time when we need them. Then we "lose" them like we lose our baby teeth. As we mature, we develop more permanent and lasting relationships.

Quite often these relationships are tested just as our permanent teeth are tested.......we might get a cavity or something more painful like a root canal. Sometimes this is due to our own misdoings such as not brushing or flossing properly. Other times it isn't so much our fault (an accident which knocks a tooth out). What is most important is to remember to take care of the permanent in our lives. Take care of them all of the time or you'll lose them.

I find it ironic that as we age, we might lose our permanent teeth. We then go back to our roots (literally!).  We are left with mostly permanent teeth. As life goes on, expect to lose some relationships that you "think" are permanent. In our old age, we will see who really was a permanent relationship (which teeth were strongest to survive). All we can do is take care of the relationships we think are meant to be permanent. You don't always realize right away which relationships those are. It takes months to grow teeth but years to lose them. Keep this in mind when approaching new relationships in the New Year. Don't be left with only photos of beautiful teeth. Make the beautiful REAL!

Matthew 22:13

 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 59: The Holidays Post-Affair

I have many fond memories of the holidays........wonderful traditions that my parents made sure we experienced. On the flip side, I have some "dark" memories of holidays as well. I could always count on it being the time of year when my mom would be angry with my dad because she did so much work for HIS family. I had to hear them argue and pray that my dad would vaccuum or do something to relieve my  mom's anger. Some years it was good and others it was bad........one year they fought so badly that our Christmas Eve celebration was cancelled .
My cousin decided to host and it was the most miserable Christmas Eve of my life because we weren't at our house with our normal traditions and my mom stayed home. I need to make sure this year that I am completely present with my family. I  need to take my own advice and remember that the holidays aren't about gifts.
The holidays are for the children. To have them experience the joy of the traditions and seeing family members they don't normally see.
Adults don't seem to be able to enjoy the holidays. It's so much "work" and stress and MONEY. This year, I vow to remember that I was once a child who enjoyed the holidays. I vow to make traditions with my children. I vow to savor each moment with them because soon they will be grown. I vow to relax so that my children don't have any "bad" memories of the holidays. I vow to hug and kiss them and snuggle with them as much as possible. I vow to give myself to my husband 100% since we will actually have time together. I vow to take care of myself and not worry about how the house looks or if the food is perfect.
I vow right now to be re-born this first Christmas and New Year's post-affair. I am no longer living two lives. I no longer need to feel guilty for enjoying the beautiful life that I have been given. Because, in reality, I haven't been given this life.........I have EARNED this life. I have worked hard to be a good person who deserves to be married to a good person such as my husband. I've worked hard and tirelessly to be the best teacher and I can be. I deserve this good job. I've worked hard to be a good mom and make a nice home for my kids. I deserve the house I have. I deserve the children I have.
It's all in what you put into it that you will get out of it. So, I vow to all of you right now that I will put all of myself into my family this holiday season.
I am thankful to God that my husband and children are with me this Christmas. Back in April, I wasn't sure what was going to happen.
I am lucky but I've also earned it. Work hard and you will earn your riches. Life is not a lottery.
2 Thessalonians 3:10
10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.
 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 51: Loneliness

How can one feel lonely when surrounded by so many people? I have a good job with a lot of friendly co-workers, I am married to a wonderful man, I have three beautiful healthy kids, my extended family is tight knit. I have friends I can call upon. So, then, why do I sometimes feel so lonely inside? It's not the quantity of time I spend with someone that matters. It's the quality of time.

I haven't seen my cousin in years but when I talk to her on the phone.......she makes me smile and laugh harder than anyone I know. Do we then need to stop and make the best quality time?

Are we lonely because we are too busy? I can't enjoy a phone conversation with my mom because I'm Christmas shopping online at the same time. So much to do........so much clutter in my mind.

How do we stop and slow down when there's so much to be done but we're lonely when doing it? Loneliness is subjective. It's inside our hearts but it's external factors that bring it upon us.

Stop and enjoy the quality of what you're doing. I guess I can liken this to my other post on staying in the moment. This holiday if you are lucky enough to see relatives or friends that you have not seen in a long time or only see once a year.......treasure it. Savor the quality of that one hour coffee with an old friend. Savor the quality of a few hours with the Aunt you haven't seen since last Christmas.

The biggest slight we can give to the devil is enjoying our time away from the activities that he makes us THINK we need to have to enjoy ourselves. This year my Christmas won't be tainted by worrying if my affair partner is going to drink himself to death because he's alone. I wish him the best and hope that he has someone to share his holiday with because loneliness hurts. Should you find yourself alone with out a choice, turn to God and not the devil. Listen to what he's telling you to do with your time. Tell the devil to shut up and that this year.....you're not listenigto him. Aim higher up to Heaven (see the picture below) Don't allow yourself to fall in to the pit of hell because you are stressed and feeling lonely.

Isaiah 41:10

10fear not, for I am with you;
   be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


  .


Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 47: The main lesson I've learned from my students

I teach 6, 7, and 8th graders. Some are so innocent and childlike, others are mature beyond their years due to family conflict or illness or learning disabilities. However, I've noticed that they all have one trait in common. They are all capable of living in the moment. I never see any of them "ruminating" over a train they broke when they were 8 or worrying about where they will be when they're 20 (even though we encourage this). They are laughing and crying and yelling at the very moment it happens. They are incredible at using all of their senses.

What happens along the way that we, as adults, forget to live in the moment? Is it because we have too much responsibility? Stress? That we tend to hope for an easier future or pine for an easier past?

Today, pretend you are 12 and savor each moment for what it is. The point of thinking of the past is to learn from it....the point of thinking of the future....well, you don't need to to do that because God takes care of that. He knows where you are going to end up. It's all about the moments that get you there.

So, stop, look, and listen and smell. What's happening RIGHT NOW? I am blessed at this moment to listen to my students sing Christmas Carols. Off key or not, it is still making me smile.

Ecclesiastes 9:7:
"Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 44: The Fear of Aging

 I am lucky. Even though I am 41, most people who don't know me mistake me for 25. So, on the outside I still appear young and not so wrinkled and "damaged". On the inside, however, I feel like I am much older.

How do we grow old gracefully? I am petrified of being "old" and not reaching all my goals. Then I stop and think, "Does it really matter?" When we're dead and gone, people will forget us very quickly and easily. I think I will really start to feel old when one of my parents passes on. This is something I've dreaded since I was a kid and it's coming upon me.

I don't ever see myself as 75 years old like my dad. Life ages you like nothing else (well, besides the sun)! I didn't have one grey hair until I had my twins. So, then I ask: How can something so wonderful and good such as life (and the sun!) make us age so quickly? We avoid the sun so we don't get cancer or wrinkles. Are we doing the same thing in life? Are we avoiding certain life events so that we don't get "burned"?

In reality, how much can we avoid? What happens when you do get burned and then you get sick and feel like dying? We put "salve" on our wounds. Sometimes someone else helps us put the salve on. But no matter how much we try to avoid the pain and aging......it will still happen faster than we anticipate. So, we need to learn to enjoy lifes precious gifts and the warmth of the sun. Stay in the moment and don't worry about the aftermath of the enjoyment for God will see us through the burns and the pain.

Proverbs 16:31

Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 42: The Company We Keep

I always worry about the company my children keep so that they aren't influenced by the negative actions of other kids. But how much control do we really have over that? Can't we just teach them to make good moral decisions and then hope for the best?

Shouldn't we, too, keep good company in order to be good examples for our children? Should we surround ourselves with others who "agree" with us? Or does that go against everything we've been taught about not judging others?

Well, what I've found is that there is unfairly judging and then there is judging in order to protect yourself and your family. Is there not a fine line between  morality and judgement? There should be some level of judgement in order to stay out of harms way.

My "free for all" non-judgement did nothing but hurt me. I allowed someone else to meet my needs instead of talking to my husband. I surrounded myself with "non-judgemental" people who condoned (and even covered for) my actions. Now I wish someone would have threatened to tell my husband what I was doing if I didn't confess. So, I may have been angry and lost these people as friends but I lost them as friends any way.

So, now I try to surround myself with "like minded" people. People who fight to save their marriages. People who want their families to stay together. So, maybe we aren't so perfectly happy. Maybe all of our needs aren't being met the way we want them, too. No one can ever meet all of our needs. We have to meet some of them on our own.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, actions must come before feelings. If you let your feelings drive your actions then you'll end up hurting a lot of other people for selfish reasons.

So, If I know people who are having affairs or want to be divorced. I do not judge them. I am not in their situation. However, that doesn't mean that I have to surround myself with them. It's like a recovering alcoholic abstaining from drinking but continuing to hang around other drinkers. This isn't possible.

So, I conciously choose, from this moment on, to surround myself with people who do not judge me for not following my feelings but, instead, support me for making sure my feelings follow my actions.

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” (Matt 7:4-5)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 40: Priorities

Almost 4 months of "sobriety" (no contact direct or indirect with the other man). 40th day of trying to regain my faith.

One of the major lessons I've learned from this is: had my priorities been in the correct and/or Godly order, I would not have given into the devil. I am not saying, "The devil made me do it".  By no means is there any excuse for my adultery.

If my children and my husband had been my priority, I never would have given into my selfish temptations. Had I kept my family in the forefront of my mind, thoughts of the OM would not have even happened. Was my choice of infidelity a choice? Yes, of course it was.

I mentioned in my last post that God works through other people. Well, so does the devil. He presented himself as someone of value and morals but, in reality, is a true psychopath. Now that my priorities are in a Godly order, I realize the destruction that I could have caused. I could not see this destruction through my affair fog. I saw what I wanted to see. I did not see what was the truth and the reality.

I thank God and my husband for saving me from the devil. My life could have been totally wrecked but (as cliche as it is), I have seen the light.

I now have to look at my sin as something that will transform me, my marriage, and my family in a positive way. I cannot un-do what I did, but I can keep my priorities in order and try very hard to make it better.

So, beware of the devil in an angels costume!

Matthew 7:15-16 - Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…”

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 37: The gift of faith through my children

Last night I made a committment to myself to focus totally on my children. My 8 year old son helped me make dinner. Not only was it fun for both of us, but it took a lot of stress off me. I thought, "Why don't I do this more often?"

Then I watched "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause" with all three of them. I couldn't get over how focused my 8 year old daughter was on the 8 year old Virginia. She cried when Virginia cried. She believed when Virginia believed. Then it hit me.......something so obvious that I used to have but have lost. Faith isn't about proof. Faith is about believing in whatever you need to believe in --in order to survive and enjoy your life. Does it really matter if it's real? What is REAL, anyway? Don't we create our own realities?

I admire my children for so strongly believing in Virginia's story. I need to take that kind of faith and put it into God.

What proof do I actually have that God exists? The proof is that my husband is willing to forgive me and make our marriage work. The proof is that my husband saved me from ruining so many lives. The proof is that my family is still intact with minimal damage.

The proof is that I have a roof over my head. I have food in my refrigerator. I have healthy and happy children. I have a husband that lives the way God wants us, too. I have family and friends who support me in hard times. I have doctors who are helping my chemical imbalances.

What more proof do I need that God exists? None. He works through others.

Exodus 23:1

 1 "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 36: Loss

When do we start becoming "jaded"? Is it the first time we lose some kind of stability? The only memory I have of being three years old is losing my plastic fishy in the ocean. Try as my dad might, he could  not "save" it. My first real  loss.

Then came the loss of my dad (in a way). He got promoted and his personality changed. He no longer had as much time for us. Only now do I realize he was human and had his own emotional problems.

Then came the first boyfriend who broke my heart when he left for college and abandoned me.....still in high school.

Then came the loss of my virginity to someone I didn't want to lose it to. I was trying to "replace" my high school boyfriend. I then abstained for a very long time after that.

Then came:
  • a friend's suicide (same year.....high school junior)
  • my  mom becoming so frustrated with my dad that she almost killed herself in front of me (again, same year.....crappy year)
  • my first bout of depression due to leaving home to go to college
  • returning home and switching colleges and having panic attacks
  • a college boyfriend leaving me for a girl pregnant with another man's baby
  • sleeping around and smoking pot and drinking to excess
  • constant rejection as an actress
  • another break up due to me wanting kids and he didn't
  • taking a "stable" job and, basically, giving up on my dream
  • infertility
  • miscarriage
  • unexpected pregnancy
  • post partum depression
  • conflict at work
  • and then........the worst decision I ever made.......
So, I grieve my life as I knew it like a theater in ruins. Then I rebuild. Maybe not a bigger or prettier theater but one with a solid foundation. One that will keep me and my family safe.

    Proverbs 15:13-14(Amp): 13 A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 35: Disappointment

I've never dealt well with disappointment. I am not sure where this came from. I search back through my childhood and try to figure it out. Is it from too much loss? Is it from having too high of expectations? Nothing ever seems to rise to my level of "happiness". I always want more.

How much of this is just inside my head? I imagine my life inside a crystal ball. I'm watching myself and everything I have. It's everything I ever wanted. It's something so many people wish they had. Then why do I still feel "unfullfilled"? That word is so cliche.

I ask God to fill my heart so I can feel complete. Deep down I know that only I can do that. I just don't know how to go about it. So many people pretend to be complete and fulfilled. It is in the kindness of strangers who express their true feelings anonymously on the computer that I know I am not alone.

I see that I am not alone in how I feel but, in truth, no one ever knows EXACTLY how someone feels. Our pain is unique. We must honor our pain by feeling it instead of ignoring and avoiding it.

Face the pain of your actions and your heart will fill.

Psalm 121

My Help Comes from the LORD
A Song of Ascents.
1I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

3He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 28: Dreams and Nightmares

I am bothered, yet again, by the vivid dreams I have. This is partly due to my hormones and is also a side effect of the anti-depressent I am on. The brain is a wonderous thing. How is it possible to hear, see, feel, and even smell in our dreams? The anxiety that comes with this vividness takes hours for me to overcome. My dreams seem so real.

An affair is like a dream. It appears to be real but it isn't. It is selfishness in a bubble. Two people thinking only of themselves and cutting off the rest of the world. An affair doesn't deal with dirty diapers, not being able to pay your bills, cleaning up the toy room, disciplining your children, or dealing with other family members. Then our subconscious remembers the affair as only something good. It doesn't hold on to the hurt and pain that the affair caused so many people.

So, I look to God for what is real.......what is truth. Sometimes we wonder if dreams are a "sign" from God.
Trust in God to lead you in the right direction. Trust that he treats you as an individual.
 Here is a thought from http://www.rcg.org/:

There are many dreams, visions or premonitions that people experience. Their sources are not as easily determined by the untrained. Therefore, we must think twice before assuming they are from God, even if they show supernatural evidence. In I John 4:1 God instructs us to “try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Almost everyone assumes that dreams and visions bear messages from God. This is a very dangerous assumption.
In situations in which visions, dreams or other such experiences result in sickness, fear, anxiety, or similar adverse effects, one should seek God’s intervention and healing. In most situations, however, dreams and visions are derived from one’s own day-to-day activities and problems.

Romans 2:6

 6 He will render to each one according to his works:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 26: Restoration

Yesterday I took a restorative yoga class and I felt wonderful afterwards. The first hour was intense yoga that made me sweat out toxins. The second half was meditation to renew my spirit. I had the best sleep in a long time. However, even though I was sleeping soundly, I was still dreaming. Dreaming the same old subconscious garbage. How do we tap into the subconcious? How do we believe in the good of the world when we're exposed to so much pain? How do we deal with our own worst enemy...our thoughts and imaginations? Isn't it the imagination that makes meditation so helpful? Then why, when we're at rest, do our minds continue to ruminate on what causes us pain?

I always thought of restoration as replacing something old or broken with it's original contents or appearance. I now realize that restoring yourself to a state of health and well being doesn't mean trying to be the "good" person you used to be. It means not only rebuilding, but also improving on what you were or what you had. I have been trying to rebuild my marriage but not restore it with something new. By "new" I mean different ways of communicating, interacting, and responding to one another. Habits are so hard to break for me. I find comfort in the familiar. The biggest challenge is being receptive to a new relationship with myself and my husband. I will not fall back into old habits of coping.
This is scary considering our "habits" of dealing with negativity are ingrained in us since childhood. How do you change your habits? How do you go about restoring yourself and your relationships to something new and fresh?

Joel 2:25-26
I will restore to you the years
   that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
   my great army, which I sent among you.  
26 "You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
   and praise the name of the LORD your God,
   who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 23: Act first.......feel later.

When I was in college, I learned a very difficult technique in a very simple way. I was an acting major and we were being taught The Stanislavski System. In order to show us what the method was about, my professor had us bang a shoe on the floor using our hands. We had to pound it over and over and over again UNTIL some kind of feeling or emotion followed. I wish I could remember what kind of emotion I had during that exercise. So many different reactions could come from it. One might start laughing from repetition, crying from frustration, or yelling from aggravation.
We all react in different ways to different circumstances. However, the lesson I take is this: Perform actions and the feelings will follow. This applies not only in acting but in life. Think about it. How do affairs get started? The affair partners are thinking of one another then they start performing actions to satisfy each others needs. Finally, they feel "in love" or that they're "soulmates". The high of these actions is temporary and unrealistic. It is not reality or permanent. How do people get back into their faith? They go to church, they pray, and they perform religious acts.
So, perform actions for God and your most closely guarded loved ones and you will experience beautiful emotion. Perform actions against God and your loved ones and you will cause and feel nothing but pain. So, think carefully before you act. Thoughts......actions........feelings........

Titus 1:16

They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 21: Let it Go Where it May

Letting go and believing in God has always been difficult for me because I can't "see" proof that God exists. So, how am I supposed to keep faith? I like to think of it as a helium balloon. You let it go into the sky knowing it will go where it may. Eventually, when the helium runs out, it will land somewhere "permanent". I am trying to trust in God that when I let my balloon go, he'll direct it in the "good" direction. A lot of it depends on me though. We have the "free will" to decide when, where, and how we will let the balloon go.
I was not smart with my free will. I held on to the balloon and tried not to break it when all the while it was shrinking and slowly leaking helium. Now I must let it go before all the helium runs out and trust that God will lead it where it's supposed to go. Do we really have any control over our fate? We can only "control" so much.
Let the helium of God's love lift you up and carry you when you need it. Trust that he'll set you down in a place free of evil.
How do you continue to believe in God?
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
   and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.

 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 18: Open the window and take a deep breath

My cousin and I used to laugh because anytime we'd get upset, her dad would say "take a deep breath" or "just breathe". We would giggle foolishly. Now that we're grown up, we see he was right. This was a man who struggled with addiction himself but he had the right idea.
If we don't take a deep breath, then we hyperventilate and shut down. Every conscious deep breath we take should be treated like you just opened a window after a long winter. The spring air comes rushing in and you take a deep breath and what do you feel?
RELIEF!
I forgot all I had learned during my set back. To start with a big breath and then focus on the tension in my body and then let the thoughts come. But remember they are just that.........thoughts.
That is why it is so hard to keep my faith. We cannot literally "see" God. He is just a thought. But we need to open the window and let the toxic thoughts blow away in the breeze. We need to hold on to and care for the thoughts that are precious to us.......like God. How do you hold on to the good thoughts and let the toxic ones blow away?

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 16: Set backs and sailboats

My boat had been docked. It had been held down with an anchor but then the storm came through. I weathered the storm as best as I could rocking around and being tossed by the waves because I didn't anchor it properly. I didn't give my anchor the care and protection it needed and it came loose. The worst part is I tried to deny that I didn't anchor it properly and got blown out to sea.
Now I am fighting to stay afloat and not drown. Part of me wants to just dive in and see if I drown or not. That's the satanic part of me. The other part, the good part, is trying to stay on board and get back to dock. Jumping would be easier, wouldn't it? Throwing all caution to the wind seems easier but I know the end result would be disastrous. If I was lucky enough to survive, I wouldn't have anything to return to. My boat will have sailed without me. I'd be standing on shore alone. I often wonder if that would be so terrible. I've always been somewhat of a loner even though I'm an extrovert. However, I wouldn't just be alone. I'd be stranded with no one to get me off the island. I just can't figure out how to stay afloat and get back to the dock on my own without "being watched". How do you stay afloat?

Isaiah 41:10

fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.