Gratitude Ain’t Just An Attitude, It’s a Way Of Life

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We made it through Thanksgiving…no, no…actually, Thanksgiving was really wonderful. Will came out and joined me and we had a lovely time. I picked him up from the airport and it was GOOD to see him. I actually MISSED him! And I didn’t have that weird uh-oh-something-isn’t-quite-right feeling. It wasn’t even a passing thought. Does this mean that all is fine and dandy in sobriety land? Oh, no. Not by a long shot.

You see, a year ago, I was visiting this same son and daughter-in-law when Will came out to visit as well. Only, we were in a completely different place in our relationship. He was still big time into the manipulation and gas lighting although he was not acting out in his addiction. While there, he snuck my journal and read it, hacked my phone and read my texts to friends, and lied continued to lie/conceal things he had done. It was during this time last year, when my doctor’s office called to tell me my test results for an STD were positive. So…there were definitely triggers. A LOT of triggers.  But, oh, what a difference in how they affected me. And my reaction. And my behavior. And my emotion! I was able to instantly recognize a trigger when I took the grandkids to the pond to feed the ducks, just as I did on my last visit. As I approached the same bench on which I sat listening to my doctor tell me my test results last year, I felt a cold sadness coming over me. I clearly heard the words and felt the pain of that moment. I took a deep breath. And in the next moment, it was gone. I quickly realized that I was healthy, I had become stronger than that bad moment and could deal with the aftermath. I was grateful for where I am now and the people in my life that I love. AND THAT WAS IT!  In the next moment we were throwing bread crumbs to the ducks and making silly duck calls and then continued our walk home. I did not even think about it again until I said my prayers and gave thanks for the healing I had been blessed with.  The many other triggers in the three weeks I was there were so fleeting that I scarcely remember what they were. Something Will did caused a panic in me and I lashed out with a snarky remark…and very quickly apologized for it. He, also, realized what he had done to trigger my panic and apologized. Then he held me.and he kissed me. And he told me, as he does so much now, how very much he loves me and is grateful for me.

We have our moments. Believe me, when we got “home”to our tiny little trailer to find it without heat or hot water in 36 degree weather, it was not a good moment. But it was also not a moment where either of us got upset with one another, or engaged in any blame. We simply turned the electric blanket on high and tried to stay warm enough to sleep til morning  so we could find and fix the problem in the daylight. Trust me when I say, this is a completely different dynamic in our relationship. It feels healthy, and loving and like a true team effort. We are now two people in this marriage, both equally committed and both giving 100%.  I would not have believed it possible a year ago in sometimes have to remind myself that we are just 18-months post D-day. I know there is So. Much. More to do to get where we want to be…and NEED to be. But I am happy and grateful that we have come this far. I know we both still have a lot to learn about ourselves and each other and our relationship, but I have so much hope for our future.

I really have a true spirit of Thanksgiving and appreciate all that I have been blessed with. I pray that, no matter what our circumstance, or where we are in our recovery process, we can take the time to be truly, deeply thankful for all that we have. I pray that through this Christmas season, we can focus on the love and peace of the season and find joy in our circumstances, no matter what they may be. I love each of you and the amazing healing and support that this amazing community has provided me. I would not be here…as many of you know…without your outpouring of love, friendship, guidance and wisdom. Happiest of Holidays to everyone. I will check back in before Christmas! 🎄

 

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I. Just. Can’t.

****WARNING-RARE, BUT MAJOR, RANT AHEAD!!****

I have my political views, my opinions and my certain leanings. I will not discuss them here. I will not discuss conservative vs. liberal, left vs. right or republican vs. democrat. I will not address policy or issues or platforms. I want to discuss right vs. wrong. Because it is starkly apparent. Because there is something much more critical that is going on in politics these days. . .and much more devastating to us as a nation.

Sex, Lies, Videotapes, Scandal, Cover-Ups. . . Power. This is now politics in America, and yes, there have always been some of these elements. The problem is that now, NOW, this is all there is. There is no decency, no honor, no goodness.

I am ashamed and deeply saddened. I am concerned for future generations and the moral decline that we are experiencing as a society. I am sickened by the callous and crude rhetoric that we are being barraged by on a daily basis because of the total lack of adult behavior by the candidates, the media, the pundits, the campaigns and certain supporters. It is ENOUGH!

I have wondered if, because of my own history of betrayal trauma, that I am simply more sensitive to the circus of deception, gaslighting, obfuscation, sexual misconduct and co-dependency that is currently our “Election Season.” But, no. It’s not just me. Friends and family who just don’t happen to be married to a sex addict, also find it disgusting and frankly, quite unbelievable. It is beyond the pale and I am tired of being triggered by story after story of sitting presidents who “may have” raped someone or who have cheated on the current candidate while in the White House. I am disgusted by allegations that a man “may have” used his position of power to systematically grope and assault women because of ego and entitlement issues. I cannot tolerate one more “leak” of information about cover-ups, emails, pay-for-plays, hot mics, religious bigotry, or sexual innuendo.

Is this truly what we have become as a nation? One giant tabloid?

We are a country of over three hundred million people. Out of that three hundred million, we have chosen two…two people. One of which will represent the rest of us for the next four to eight years to the rest of the world. We have chosen possibly the worst TWO people to do so. . .out of THREE HUNDRED MILLION!

It is no wonder, really, that pornography use, infidelity, sex addiction, casual one-nighters, rape, sexual abuse, child porn, prostitution, sex trafficking, divorce. . . are all on the rise or at epidemic levels. It is out of control. Men that believe misogyny is a myth or engage in the degradation and debasing of women should be called out and educated. Women that engage in pornography for “pleasure”  or turn a blind eye to sexual misconduct, likewise, are responsible for the breakdown of our moral fabric. Anyone, ANYONE, seeking to insert themselves into a coupleship for self-gratification, or seeking that gratification outside of their own committed relationship is responsible for our moral decline. Yes, I recognize addictions and trauma and issues. But I also recognize self-control, agency and personal choice. Help is available. We all have a basic knowledge of right and wrong. Fix yourself. Help fix our society.

We are destroying ourselves from within. Things like ISIS, drug cartels, global warming…they cannot compare to the power and potential to destroy us as we ourselves possess. Our own inability to achieve moral clarity in a time such as this,  is a harbinger of self-destruction.

America. . .there is nothing right about this election. We’ve got it all wrong. 😥