Thursday, September 22, 2016

Feeling Trapped


Recently we had a storm move through our area that caused some major local flooding. Some neighborhoods got hit worse than others. Thankfully, the damage for most folks was minor but still, it was inconvenient. For the first time since I’ve lived here, schools were closed because of rain. Many roads were too flooded to drive through.

Although I had been given the day off from work because of the flooding and had no place else to go, I still felt trapped inside my house. Not because there weren’t dozens of other things to: spending time with the family (check); writing (check); cleaning (check); watching television (check). I still had a sense of feeling trapped.

The choice of leaving my neighborhood had been taken from me.

I recalled feeling that way once before but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Just a small twinge in the recess of my brain trying to resurface. Some dark memory trying to claw it’s way to the surface.

As the day wore on it finally came to me. I used to feel this way when my husband was at the height of his addiction but wasn’t ready to acknowledge it yet…and neither was I. I had felt trapped in my marriage. I felt anxious a lot of the time. Like I should be doing something but I didn't know what. It left me feeling antsy.

I loved him. I hated what he was doing.

During that time I liked to tap into my senses:

I would go outside and walk, smell the air, feel the cold air on my face, see the brightly colored leaves, listen to the birds sing their songs. Listen to music, dance, light my favorite candle and breathe in it's smell. Take a warm bath. Or, as you guys know, write, write, and write some more.

And just like the waters finally subsided from the streets as the storm past, the porn subsided from our marriage as his recovery grew. The sun shined bright in our lives.


Have you ever felt trapped?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

You Aren't As Alone As You Feel (Dear Me)

This is an excerpt from the end of my self-help book. It's a letter I wrote myself three years after disclosure. It took me a long time to fully heal from the Relational Trauma I went through with Devin. I would've healed sooner had I listened to those around me. Had I not been so bullheaded. Please don't be like me. 





Dear Me,

            I’m sorry you just found about Devin’s online affair.  I'm sorry it wasn't just porn. But I’m glad you found that backbone of yours again because unfortunately you’re going to need it again soon. Please listen to your guardian angel when she says Devin is a sex addict because he is, I’m so sorry. Elsie your world is about to be turned upside down but know you can handle it, you’ve been through some tough shit in your life but now is the time to stand strong and focus on you and your children. Listen to your guardian angel, she’s been put in your life for a reason and won't be here long. She is telling you about S-Anon for a reason. Every fiber of your being wants to focus on Devin and his behaviors, his problems, soon you will want to focus on his affairs, yes there are more. You’ll want to focus on the women too. Trust me, they aren’t worth your time and they sure aren’t worth neglecting time away from your kids. They were objects to Devin, nothing more, nothing less and it is you that is making them larger than life while damaging yourself in the process. Trust me, the images you see will come back to haunt you along with all the words and details you will learn. They will pop up when you least expect it and at the most intimate moments and ruin far too many days ahead.
            There is a piece of wisdom you don’t hesitate to share with Devin yet you don’t seem to see the wisdom in it for yourself. You tell Devin if he spent as much time on his recovery as he did on his addiction he’d be so much further along by now. Take a look in the mirror, Elsie. After your second disclosure day, again, I’m sorry you’ll have another, you spend far too much time obsessing on the other women, then you move on to obsessing over Devin’s recovery.  If you spent that time working on YOU, you yourself would be a healthier person too.
            I beg of you, give one of the twelve-step programs a chance. You walked in with such a chip on your shoulder despite your relationship with God. You couldn’t admit your life was also out of control, you couldn’t admit you needed outside help from others because your massive pride was in the way – take help from others. These women will help you. They understand like no others can. The programs work. It’s not about “their” religion, it’s not a cult, there’s not some bizarre motive. It just works. 
            If you don't reach out to a program, reach out to a healthy place like church, a counselor, or someone who doesn't bash your husband for being a sex addict. He's a sick person, not a bad person. Don't let people tell you otherwise.
            Trust me. I’m not going to lie, you’re in for some pretty messed up times, but you’ll get through it and I think if you had a better network of friends, like S-Anon, you’d get through it much better. Oh, and one last tid bit of advice…don’t tell your friends. You think it’s a great idea.  I assure you, it’s not.  It changes everything, even years later.
            I'm happy to say things do get so much better! You become a much emotionally, healthier person - through the help of a twelve-step program. As they say, it works if you work it.

Love,


Me.

For those of you who lurk, I hope that this gives you a sense of hope. You aren't as alone as you feel. Don't be afraid to reach out to others. We're here to listen. We're here to provide our experience, strength, and hope.

God bless.

Have you ever felt alone in something you were facing in your life? Were you afraid to talk about it for fear of judgment? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Struggle Is Real - IWSG Post

IWSG

The Struggle Is Real

A couple of weeks ago I talked about an issue on the home front that I was dealing with that involved one of my kids. While the matter is improving a bit, it’s still a large presence in our home. (I’m sorry to be so vague. I’m respecting my child’s privacy). While I’d like to punch the problem in its face (cause my Lord that’d be so satisfying!) it’d also result in me being arrested and possibly sued.

People these days. So touchy about physical harm.

Not only has this issue disrupted the harmony in my home, it hasn’t left me with a lot of time for writing.

The struggle is real, folks.

(My niece said that one time to a guy who was complaining about the most inane thing about his job and I nearly choked on my drink. She takes after her aunt and father).

The struggle is real.

Every time I open my laptop, there they are: my self-help book and my fictional book. Empty white space just waiting to be filled with my creativity. Hasn't happened all that much. Instead I end up doing recovery work (very important) or distracting myself with things that ain’t so heavy.

The struggle is real but it will pass when things settle down. I know it will. My child comes first. The writing can wait and I’m okay with that. For now, I’ll put the books aside until I have time to pick them up again.
from Google

Question of the Day:  How do you find time to write in your busy day? 

Right now...I don't. But I am happy to say that I did squeeze in a few hours over the holiday weekend and that was a true blessing. I needed it!

Have you had to put your WIP aside? Were you okay with your decision? How are you feeling this month?

Scheduling note: I’m working today. I’ll be by to visit everyone later this afternoon. 

  

This has been a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. It's a chance to talk about our fears and doubts, or inspire others by sharing our success and happiness.  We’ve got a great bunch of people in this group and we’d love to have you join in on the fun too.  A big thank you to it's creator, Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Don’t forget to stop by and say hello to our other fantastic co-hosts:  C. Lee McKenzie, Rachel Pattison, Elizabeth Seckman, Stephanie Faris, Lori L MacLaughlin! 

Thank you for letting me co-host! 

Wait! Don't leave! There's more:

Announcing the 2016 IWSG Anthology Contest! 
Last year’s contest was science fiction – parallel world/alternate history, and the result was Parallels: Felix Was Here. This year, we have a new theme and invite all members to submit. 

Eligibility: Any member of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is encouraged to enter – blogging or Facebook member. The story must be previously unpublished. Entry is free. 

Word count: 5000-6000

Genre: Fantasy

Theme: Hero Lost. It could be about a hero turned villain, a villain's redemption, a hero's lack of confidence, a hero's lack of smarts, etc. It can be about any kind of hero including superheroes, mythological heroes, unexpected or unlikely heroes, or a whole new kind of hero. This theme has plenty of scope and we’re open to pretty much anything along these lines. No erotica, R-rated language, or graphic violence.

Deadline: November 1st 2016

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted, previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details and if you are part of the Blogging or Facebook IWSG group. 

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges. 

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title. 

We’re excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that’s such a part of this group put into action. So don your creative caps and start writing. And spread the word! 

Our amazing judges this year:



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saying the Right Thing

from Google
So, yeah, if you guys didn’t already know, I like to ramble. Some days I go on and on and on and well, you get the idea. Many of you recall the days before I learned how to edit myself. When I used to post long word vomits. Paragraph after paragraph filled with emotional rants and raves that really didn’t do much for the reader, but it sure helped me get through the emotional turmoil of finding out my husband was a sex addict. (Thank you for sticking around during those dark times!)

You can imagine how hard it is in real life for me to contain myself once I really get on a roll. Here I can hit the delete button when I think a post has gotten too long. Too TMIey. But in real life, not so much.

When a person in crisis from my program calls me, my instinct is to gush out all sorts of information. I want to fill their traumatized brain with as much valuable stuff as I can because who knows if they’ll ever have the courage to pick up that 500lb phone again?

I remember not knowing what to ask the person who answered my first phone call. I could barely speak through my tears. I was petrified. I felt alone.

I’ve come up with the basics I try to bring up during our initial conversation if the person is a newbie to the program and has an interest (and time) to listen:

1.      You’re not as alone as you feel. There are a ton of us out there. We might not have the exact same story, but we understand your pain like no one else can. And there's no one right way to do this.
2.      Boundaries. Odds are you need to set some, so start thinking about some reasonable ones. It’s time to protect your emotions and your wellbeing. Boundaries can help you do that.
3.      Don’t make any rash decisions right now. Unless there is physical abuse, you don’t have to decide what to do about your relationship this very second. Take some time to think first. My counselor suggested a year. Things are very fluid in the beginning and emotions are raw.
4.      Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater: Yes, sex addiction sucks ass. It’s not for every couple. However, some couples, myself included, make it. Not only that, like Devin and I, through hard work and determination, they come out stronger. There is hope although right now things seem so hopeless.
5.      Be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster. One day you’ll feel like total and absolute crap. You’ll hate the addict. The next, you’ll love them and feel like you can conquer the world. Heck, sometimes it’s not daily; it’s hourly. Hang in there, with time, those emotions can settle down.
6.      Unfortunately not all addicts are immediately forthcoming. Many of them stay in some form of denial in the beginning. However, if the addict is willing to commit to their recovery/counseling, the denial can subside.
7.      The program worked for me and I wasn’t exactly a willing participant…at least not at first. I walked into the rooms with a chip on my shoulder just wanting to be around people who’d been through what I’d been through. Not only were the people kind and receptive, they shared their experience, strength, and hope with me and helped me get back on my feet. I’m stronger now because of it. So, if it can work for me, it can work for you too. Attend at least six meetings. Each one has a different vibe, so be sure and give them a fair shot.
8.      Don’t be afraid to try different ways to heal. Counseling, twelve-steps, journaling, yoga, etc. Whatever works, do it. And if it didn’t work the first time, go back and try it again later. You’d be surprised.
9.      Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone again. One of the biggest fears I had was reaching out to others for help. I didn’t want to be burden or a bother. In our program, there are people available for those in crisis for a reason. We get it. We want to be there for you. Let us.
10.   Be patient and kind to yourself. Make some “me” time. You deserve it. If you need a nap, take it. If you want to take a warm bath, do it. Maybe you enjoy reading, if so, than take the time to so. The important thing is that you’re doing something other than focusing on the addiction. Give yourself and your brain a rest.
from Google

Do you tend to be a verbal gusher or are you more reserved?