Friday, December 31, 2010

the wonderful world of triggers

Well today sucks.

I learned first hand the meaning of "trigger" for a partner of a sex addict. I heard about it before, heard it was possible. I have been grateful there were some steps to dealing with all this that apparently I got to skip. Guess I thought I was either that lucky or just that cool. Nah turns out I'm just a late bloomer.

So whats is a trigger you ask? -- Behaviors and environmental cues that can trigger, and cause "flashbacks," which can temporarily re-traumatize. Examples of environmental cues include driving past a location where the addict acted out, billboards, images or media.

Today started fine. DH has the day off. We were hanging with the kids, having fun, played some just dance and did puzzles. Then off to the store we all go. Nothing exciting, no bad thoughts in my head. We shop. We all pile back into the car to bring grocery's home. Talk is consisting of what we will be doing to bring in the new year. We stop at a red light, I'm watching DH sing along with the radio and make the kids laugh. I glance around. Notice we are at THE intersection. The one I avoid when I drive. 

One of the girls lives right around that corner. This is the light he would sit at when driving home from her house. Driving home from spending time with some slutty nineteen year old. Sitting right here before coming into our home. Our home where he would say he loved me, and tuck my children into bed. I can see his truck on the other side of the intersection like its really there. He is singing along with the radio. Look at that smile, he looks satisfied. Probably still thinking about how great a nineteen year old looks naked.

The light turns green. I feel vomit in my throat. We get to the house, park in the driveway. DH asks if there is something wrong. Nope everything's great, you sleep around and you still get the perfect family. But what I really say is I will get the baby out of the car you get the food. 

Nothing has gone good since getting the baby out of the car. Day has gotten worse. It felt like that first week after D-day all over again. I could SEE everything again. So I spent most my day and early evening a mess in my room. You know the ugly cry kind. There was snot and hiccup noises. Not pretty. DH braved going up to the room to check on me a few times. He got screamed at.

And so ends the tale of how I learned about triggers. And how I squished all the fun out of New Years. 
Dear God, please, please, please, take these images I see when I close my eyes away. Please help me to not shut down due to silly things like an intersection. Or if you so see fit God please destroy that intersection, and replace it with something cool like ice cream shop. Thanks and Amen, Love me

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

hello my name is Irish Bastard, and I'm a sugarcoater

I learned a name for myself last week. Sugarcoater. OK so it doesn't sound bad, kinda sounds yummy, but that's what  makes it so dangerous.  Who doesn't like sugar right?

How to spot a sugarcoated person:
       person in question ~
  • is always smiling.
  • laughs through any problem and wants others to do the same.
  • will bend over backwards to make others happy.
  • will drop fights to keep peace.
  • looks like they have it all together (perfect life, house, kids, etc.).
  • gets annoyed with what they believe are whiners.
  • never lets others see them cry.
  • is very social and usually has lots of friends.
  • makes excuses for past wounding (admitting someone was able to hurt them is not a "sugary" feeling).

Are you a sugarcoated person?
You read the above bullets and thought~
  • the above list was great
  • whats wrong with always being happy?  
  • nobody wants to see others cry.
  • of course I have a ton of friends.
  • whinny people DO bother me, everyone has problems, they need to learn to deal with theirs.
  • lets not dwell on the past.
If you agreed with the above list your totally covered in sugar.
My natural response would be, that's cool me too. We would probably get along great. I bet your a fun person to be around. Sugary people usually are. But now for the sucky part, you may or not be aware of it yet. I want to get the warning out to any other super happy candy people before its too late.

The downfall of people who wear protective sugar coats:

1.   They don't know how to let others help them if they are hurt.
  • don't want to upset others by being sad/mad/etc.
  • sometimes scary to even admit to others something is wrong.   
2.   If they are parents, they teach their children to act the same way.
  • They even probably think that's a good thing.
3.   Often think they must be perfect before they can follow Christ.
  • for the record this a HUGE lie of the enemy.
4.   Due to wanting to have it all together, they want to be helpful, so others can have it all together too.
  • has a hard time telling others no.
  • can easily become a doormat, might result in getting used.
5.   Often attracts (and is attracted to) certain types of other broken people.
  • narcissist ~ best type of person for the "all about me show" is a sugarcoater. Sugar - always fun to be around, never upset, and best of all, they do everything they can to make them happy.
  • emotional dependent person ~ this person can become addicted to how a sugarcoater makes them feel special.  
  • other sugarcoater's ~ of course! Two permanently happy people what could be better right?
6.    Usually will try anything to stay happy (or stay looking happy).
  • relationships, helping others - Making them happy, is gonna make me happy.
  • drugs, drinking - 'Cause if you numb the pain, that's the same as happy right?
 7.    Can become very depressed to the point of suicide.
  • Things that normally make me happy are no longer working.
  • If I cant get over this problem, somethings wrong with me.
  • I cant tell others, they don't even know I have problems.
  • Having problems makes my husband, children, etc look bad.
  • Nothing can fix it. 
I am not the only sugarcoater I have ever come across. My family is packed full of them. I think there was a pride in it. We pull ourselves up when we get knocked down, and the best part is we do it with a smile. I am the baby of the whole family, so I had the privilege of watching and learning and perfecting. I laugh and joke with the best of them. And I was modeling that attitude for my children. 

But now I'm a follower of Christ. I'm learning that its OK to smile, buts its also OK to cry.  Jesus lets me look back at past events and see them through His eyes. My cousins death is my biggest warning. He was also my biggest role model. He was happy on the outside and not on the inside. I don't want that to happen to me, or the people that call me their role models, my kids. The first step is admitting you have a problem right? So....
Hello, my name is Irish Bastard and I am a Sugarcoater. 
Oh wait that's not right, lets try this...
Hello, my name is Kings Daughter, and I was a sugarcoater. My Daddy is helping me to change things.

Friday, December 17, 2010

crafting is a fabulous band-aid

Two nights ago we went to a friends for a small Christmas party. The kids each got to shop and pick out a present, they wrapped them and made their own cards. I looked up a small craft online that the kids got to help with. It was the first art we have done together in months. It made me happy and sad at the same time, to see how excited they were that I busted out the glue gun. When shopping for googly eyes and pipe cleaners all three discussed extensively and decided together what size eyes and what bag of pompoms would be just perfect. It felt like they were grasping at how things used to be.

My six year old in particular was holding on with all her might to every fun little thing that was happening. It was hard to listen to what I could hear in her heart while she talked throughout the afternoon. "Mommy are we still going to make art?"  "Yes."  "Do you promise."  "Yes I do."  "Are we going to glue, and wrap and make food together?"  "Yes all of us."  "Oh good! I want us to all the time again!"  She had her little heart so ready for this special day, that it broke mine. Like she was worried this was her one and only day to have her home and mommy back to the way they should be.

She was smiles all day, and into the evening when we got to our friends. Towards the end of the party she started to cry. She cried on and off till it was time to tuck her into bed. I wanted to believe she was just tired and a little partied out. I wanted to believe so badly that at least my younger two were not being affected much. Thinking that would just be lying to myself again. Her tears told me the truth. Her special day was ending and she was scared it wasn't coming back. As I laid awake that night, all I could think about was her little face all streaky with tears when I told her goodnight. "I had fun tonight mommy, but I don't know why I'm sad."

I felt guilty that I have been holding back on this small thing that brings them so much joy. I felt selfish. Art is my release, always has been. When my heart was broken, it was the last thing on my mind. After awhile I started to feel my pain, and I started to draw again. The pictures were scary, dark and ugly. The pain jumped off the pages, so much so that I decided I was done. So I stopped ALL types of art. Sadly I had forgotten how much it can heal and help, them as well as me. Just because drawing is out right now, doesn't mean everything needs to be.

So I woke with a plan yesterday. 10 days till Christmas, and it will be fun for the kids.  I told the children we will be having a craft day. They were out of school for a snow day, so it worked out well. When I announced my plans, they ran around picking up, working together, chattering about what they would make.
When I tucked my youngest daughter into bed last night she made me smile. "Today was fun mommy, I'm happy."  This year has been different in many ways, and I found out this small difference has been huge to them. Yesterday we relaxed, crafted, watched movies, made cards and necklaces. Art in this house is like breathing, we need it. I promised myself  I won't be so self contained anymore not to notice.                  

some artwork from craft day

Thursday, December 9, 2010

adultery = train wreck

I'm having an anxious day.  I don't know what the problem is, but all day I have felt off.
I suppose the same thing that causes the really bad days, is the same thing that causes the slightly wrong for no good reason days. Adultery is a train wreck. Having a husband with a sexual addiction.... well that's like a train full of puppies, crashing into a train full of orphans. Yeah its that bad. 
Some days no matter how good everything is rolling, you let stray thoughts invade. Its not even thoughts of the other women. Its the smaller day to day things that have been sneaking up on me.

Do you know any stereotypical gossips? I do, she lives on my street. The day I found out my husband was having an affair, she also found out. Swell. Didn't want her to know, but there it is. I will post about that day and the days that followed, but not today. Don't want that panic attack that has been hovering around my edges all day to turn full blown. Anyhoo... this lovely gossip I have the pleasure of knowing, has been spreading the word on my life to others in passing conversation. People I know and people that I don't. I feel like I no longer have "safe" friends or acquaintances to chat with, to relax with, everyone knows some version of the truth.  Most days I think whatever, I wont let it bother me. But other days, days like today... I want to hide. I want to stay indoors so I don't have to guess at who knows, what they know, what they're thinking, or saying. Why does she stay with him? Once a cheater always a cheater. She is so weak, probably doesn't think she can cut it without a man. No wonder he cheats shes so bitchy/bossy/stuck up/lazy/stupid/ugly/boring. Bet she lets it happen. Thoughts like that can turn me immobile and keep me in sweats all day. Sad part is I will even try to lie to myself. I have a lot around the house to do today, I don't need to go anywhere. The saddest part is when I catch myself in the lie. The result is usually a crazy little self fight in my head.~~ Yeah you might not have some huge errand that should get done, but your son needs to get out, fresh air, the park, maybe a play date? Nah he is totally content watching cartoons. No he isn't, and neither are you. You love to be out and about. Oh shut up, to much to do at home today I'm not going anywhere.

I am sincerely trying to get outta these little funks when they pop up. I pray, I read scripture, I do homework, I have decided to catch up on classic movies I have never seen, classic novels I have never read, new recipes, do my nails, do the girls nails.... seriously its not for lack of trying.  But the funks they come. I wish I knew someone who has been through this, so I could ask for a time line. If I could just know how long till I was going to be better. Sigh, I know the answer, God knows. And He aint telling.

I have noticed that the holidays seem to make the funks sorta cluster. Once October hits its non stop till middle of January. Other than the obvious holidays, there are two of my childrens birthdays, my birthday, and our wedding anniversary. I'm a holiday person at heart. I love to decorate and do a ton of fun activity's leading up to whatever fun day is coming. Normally arts and crafts cover our walls since its a favorite pastime with the kids. But not so much this year. I do try to rally myself, and sometimes there is success. Total hit or miss.

Halloween was iffy. There was one trip to the farm with only the baby, and took pics of costumes with a phone. It was lacking. My daughters birthday was a hit. Big slumber party, house festive, lots of giggles, crafts, games into the late night. I pulled it off, just like old mommy would have done.  Other things have been a total fail, like our tenth wedding anniversary. I had always wanted to renew our vows on our tenth.  When the day did come around though all I wanted was to stay busy so I couldn't dwell on what day it was.  DH ended up working late, my six year old came home from kindergarten with lice. Well got my wish. I was busy. De-licing the kid, and cleaning the house in fear of more freaky little bugs. It was so far from what I always dreamed that day would be like, it was  funny.... in a twisted sorta way. Thanksgiving I woke in total funk mode. Told DH he would be taking the kids on his own to our friends for dinner. I just wasn't up for faking a smile, and I sure as heck didn't want to spend it cooking. But when those plans fell through, I ended up cooking a small Thanksgiving dinner. It was the most awful dinner ever. On any given night we sit around the table laughing and joking, but not that night. It was depressing, almost completely quiet. DH looked like he would break into tears at any minute, the kids were fidgety and excused themselves as soon as they could.  Even now just weeks away from Christmas I feel like I'm failing. I love to involve the kids in all the fun things of getting ready for Christmas. But we haven't made one craft, one ornament , one card.

I see my kids look at me, they ask if we will be having a marshmallow fight. Or maybe play some hide and seek tonight? We haven't had family camp-out in months. They miss the fun, the carefree. I feel like that sparkle that once ran through this house is gone. I look at my childrens faces and wonder if they worry its gone too.

Adultery is such a ugly train wreak. The carnage is huge, and far reaching. It sinks into the smallest cracks of your life.  Every time you think you see where it all hurts, you discover something you missed. It affects every part of your life. Your marriage. Your self-esteem. Your innocence and trust of others. Your children. Your holidays. Your memories, even they are all distorted now.

But it does not effect my God. He does not have anxious days, or off days. Although my flesh is effected in every way, my spirit is not. He has that time line and I will wait on Him. Even when I don't want to.

Psalm 27:13-14

 13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
      while I am here in the land of the living. 14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
      Be brave and courageous.
      Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.