Trust Issues

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During a guided meditation this morning the line was said, “Since you can’t control what people say or do your trust is low.”

Trigger! Something sunk in my belly. You know that feeling…when it suddenly becomes obvious and it is soooo you.

Yes, people say I’m controlling. Yes, I have trust issues. But I have never related the two behaviors.

What to do?

Since I can’t control what anyone says, if you tell me the answer about this, then by default I won’t trust you anyway. HAHA

Has anyone worked on this in therapy?

I’m sure I have a self-help book on this somewhere….

Happy Strong Backbone Friday

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As painful as it was, a good purge of emotions was just what I needed this week. When I woke up I felt like my insides had been given a bath and scrubbed clean.

Hallelujah! Amen!

What helped?

  • Talking to REAL adults. REALLY honestly.
  • Practicing MINDFULNESS every day. Not always in a “formal sit” but also in the everyday moments.
  • Learning about and using the tool of “The I’m Not Good Enough Story”. The hook is the story. I am learning to unhook from the story. The Story: I am fat & ugly. First Say: I am having the thought of I am fat & ugly. Then Say:  I notice that I am having the thought of I am fat & ugly. I used this when I drove by a beautiful new home-built by a couple my age with kids about the same age whose marriage has survived and they have the life I should have had. The story: I am jealous. I am having the thought I am jealous. I notice that I am having the thought that I am jealous. And sure enough, my jealous feeling was gone! Because I am not my thoughts!!! My brain released it as a THOUGHT and my silly old brain went skipping right on by that thought. Final Result: I can now drive by that house and smile because the wonderful special ed teacher who lives there has a daughter who is friends with my son at school.  The Story has lost it’s power.
  • For this last year of battling to be sober I have been focusing on Rewards & Treats to take good care of myself. I started with my outsides. New drinks, yummy food, good books, fun clothes, mani pedi’s, fun haircolors. I am seeing that my next year of Rewards & Treats is starting to go internal. Mindfulness, forgiveness, sharing, self-massage, yoga. The issues in my tissues. I have learned what it takes to make my outsides feel good. Next I will learn to care for my insides (my insides sometimes lie to me – like saying I’m fat & ugly!)
  • I am getting a backbone. Yoga is teaching me to stretch my spine every day in 6 directions. Bend forward, backward, side, other side and twist in each direction. I imagine the spaces between my vertebrae expanding toward the direction. There are so many lessons to be learned about the spine. Both metaphorically and physically. Space, strength and as SubarbanBetty said “have an F***U always ready”. Love that!

So here’s to me pulling up my big girl panties this morning. Off to face my day battling my THOUGHTS with a new story, a strong backbone, a few rewards & treats and if necessary a good f***u.

Lunch With Friend

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I have a little group of staff that we try to go to lunch once a month or so. I put a FB message out to my girls “Ladies Who Lunch” and said I needed to go to lunch, I have spent way too much time alone. And someone was free.

I spent the first hour listening.

What a relief.

My boss has a saying – If we all throw our problems in a big pile in the middle and then you can go in and pick out any problem – Most of us would pick our own back. Any good gravy! Yes indeedy doo! I only want my own problems back! My friend and other friends we share, are having some awful stuff.

The next hour some topic sparked me and I started talking too. She is the friend who was with me when  I received that horrible email at work about me being immoral. She has read it and literally watched how it hurt me that day and in the years after.

We both confessed that we feel so bad about ourselves that we are worried that one day our boys will see us for who we are and be ashamed or embarrassed by us.

We feel good on the inside and then catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mirror and can’t believe we look hideous.

No pictures of ourselves.

It made me feel good to know that my thoughts, as horrible as they sound, are shared. That this is a common theme. She and I are both early 50’s and have teens. We are the oldest parents in the class.

Then we moved on to my wanting to heal this divorce. She said that even though she wishes she had never married her husband, she is so happy to have her boys. I looked at her and said – I’m not. I feel terrible for bringing these kids into a world of divorce and horrible sadness from their father. I truly believed I picked an exceptional man to marry and to become a father.

She reminded me that my ex is making these choices not me. But, I said I am responsible for choosing that man. I missed something horribly rotten. I was only thinking about myself, and being in love and dreaming of a wonderful perfect life. I must have missed something. I feel so bad that I have allowed my kids to be hurt. I wish they hadn’t been born so they would not feel the pain they have had to endure.

We kind of looked at each other and went – Ahhh – maybe there is something here to heal! I told her about working with my therapist and a therapist for the kids and the conclusion was, that when my son decided to not see his dad at age 13, he decision was respected. He was treated so badly. It was a nightmare to send my kids, They would hide under furniture and I would have to extract them and send them crying with him. Then when they came home they would be hysterical from how they were treated. But, I felt it was my job to be sure they saw their dad. I did not want to take away his rights to see his kids.

For the last 6 years, my kids no longer spend any nights, and for the last 3 years my son hasn’t seen his dad. My other one who turned 13, is starting to not want to go. He goes there noon to 3 every other Saturday. My ex’s wife will not allow their dad to see the kids without his new kids or her present. They are not allowed to see their dad’s family, but sometimes his parents and I sneak them over. If his parents are caught seeing them, they are punished by not getting to see their other (her) grandkids.

By choosing this guy to marry, this is the life I gave my kids.

That is on me.

I have forgiven my ex a long time ago. (Haven’t forgiven her yet.) And I think the lesson I learned yesterday is that

I haven’t forgiven myself.

I think that is  interesting. I recognize that he did wrong, but once I forgave him I thought I would heal. What has happened though is I did not realize how much of his bad choices I have internalized and made mine.

My friend and I did discuss that if my kids had been able to happily spend time with their dad I may have been able to heal sooner. I know after a few years of grief and when they were still spending the night I had started dating. That was nice. But when they no longer stayed overnight and just went for three hours every other Saturday, dating was no longer  something to pursue.

I am glad I reached out to a friend  when I realized that I was spending way too much time thinking about myself. I am so grateful for my happy little family and the absolute NO DRAMA of our life currently. I would pick my own problems right now!

Recognition and Awareness are the first steps in healing. This stuff is so painful to write. But the only way out is through.

A Personal Insult

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“We take bad things that happen to us as a deep personal insult.”

Ta-Da!!

I have found it!

I believe this is why I can’t heal from my divorce 10 years ago.

This mornings speaker tied it into the “Why ME?” feeling we get when stuff goes wrong. And beyond just goes wrong, really, really tragic things. When my little sis got cancer you can bet we did a lot of WHY ME therapy! Who wants cancer to happen to a child. That makes sense. But we understand that cancer is random and not a personal assault.

But divorce…someone had to do something. A choice somewhere was made. It involves grown ups. It isn’t a random genetic mistake of the 19th & 21st chromosomes linked across the top like leukemia.

I know I have mentioned that I live in a small town and the people tend to be isolated and prejudiced in their thinking. Two years ago when my boys were part of a community group I took a stand that things were unfair, I received an email from a dad that said he was pulling his son from the program because he didn’t want him to be around someone who was immoral. Yep. I was called immoral because I was divorced. Even though my ex had an affair with a just turned 21-year-old and flaunted it about town, I was the immoral one. I just pulled my kids out and stayed home.

It was the start of me not leaving my house for two years (and my box of wine every five days became a box every two days) until I began some therapy.

“We take bad things that happen to us as a deep personal insult.” Yes, yes I do.

Now maybe I can start to heal this thing.

Month 5 1/2 – BUT THEN WHAT?!

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I thought once I got through the first couple weeks of not drinking it would be relatively easy. I was already competent, I would just be more competent.

Nope. The routines that worked while drinking do not work sober.

I noticed this morning that my empty no-drinking time is evolving into my greatest sober lesson so far.

I have always written in the morning. Either journaling, making to-do lists or reading self-help books and writing notes and observations. I enjoyed tweaking my life to make it more efficient and contented. I would experience shame and stress when my to-do list got longer or I wasn’t more content after doing the self-help journaling.

In my new sober journaling I am still looking inward. Though I can barely make a to-do list, everything that needs to-doing is getting done. I  am also using tools such as yoga and meditation that are more than just writing, but still achieve the going inward that writing gives me.

My life choices that I was forced to make to appear competent do not work sober. They feel miserable. Things such as having pop in the morning to counter the blood sugar drop of a hangover or getting heavy fast food on the way to work to soak up the stomach bile. Hiding behind my computer with “busy work” so I didn’t have to talk to other people or not bothering my kids when they were quiet in their rooms because I wanted the alone time.

Now, zero to-do lists at home. I have the time and energy to do the dishes and laundry without making a list in the morning. I bring a breakfast to work and eat and socialize for 10 minutes when I get there. I use a very efficient Day Planner at work and instead of hiding behind my computer, easily accomplish my work day and come home satisfied. I make my kids talk to me when they hide in their rooms. Even if they just pop their heads out to say “Don’t bug me!” I get a hug and go have a bit more alone time.

One of the mindfulness speakers recently said that she tries to NOT have the same routine every day. My brain immediately went to BUT THEN WHAT?! 

Oh…..exactly! Off the routine means new experiences. Not the SAME experiences just sober  but entirely new experiences. Now, at 5 1/2 Months, I get that.