Wednesday, April 30, 2008

anne lamott

i was looking for video of anne lamott on stephen colbert last night and am blocked because i'm viewing in canada - so for anyone interested you can go to to enjoy what i am unable to view. i found this though and thought maybe other's who love anne might enjoy it (it's nearly an hour long):

Monday, April 28, 2008

a wound is not only a laceration, it may also be a door ...

this slayed me - clarissa pinkola estes is writing for NCR (national catholic reporter) weekly now - and todays article took everything out of me.

she begins and ends with two poems and in between asks so many questions. i can't even pick something to post here because you need to read it all.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes - Open the Door

Friday, April 25, 2008


i have been blogging for nearly five years here now and i have chosen to avoid this subject for a couple of reasons. first being i am no expert. second being this subject cuts very close to home for me. third is probably just not wanting to weather a troll storm in my comments or just plain lack of courage, but i have come to realize too late that my silence needs to be broken.

as a recovering sexual addict i have spent far too much of my life with my nose pressed up against the rough edges of life. i haven't written about my sexual addiction in quite some time, mostly because i have had 7 1/2 blessed years of abstinence that i cherish deeply and probably don't want to "jinx" it. i don't believe that's really true when i write it, but sometimes we get superstitious and don't really even know it.

in the past few months i have crossed paths with some amazing new bloggers. most of them are recovery men who happen to be gay. i love gay men. i really do. penni and i have said many times that they are the best friends a wounded woman could have. they live out of a beautiful place in their souls - and usually they've been wounded along their path too, so they just plain "get it".

i am writing about this now because much of the woundedness i see happens at the hands of the church in the name of a very vengeful, atrocious god. it breaks my heart.

as a woman raised in a female hating denomination i had that god on my back for most of my life too. the worst part of spiritual abuse is that the very comforter who should be there when the rest of life turns on you is taken away and made into the one who orchestrated it all. instead of finding comfort from god those of us with vast boatloads of shame are told that the shame is there because we're so screwed up and that god created that shame to get our attention so that we will behave in the way that we're supposed to. it's a really f-ed up logic, but to a child raised in a strict, religious home we're too naive and wounded already that we just can't tease apart the error.

the best part of my recovery journey has been the line from the step 3 "god as i understand him." somehow that gave me permission to begin to peel back the edges of the rigid doctrine i had been raised with and start to question. what i saw was an ugly idol. as sick and twisted as the old testament idols we were warned about. maybe, just maybe this wasn't really god. maybe, just maybe my understanding, and the understanding of those who hurt me so was WRONG. maybe. it's what i'm devoting the next two years of my life to. it will hopefully be my thesis.

maybe that idol needs to be pulled off it's altar so that we can fully find a real god who truly sets us free and is worthy of our devotion.

why this theology stop in a post about homosexuality? it's who i am. a sexual addict who loves theology and i adore the god i've found in recovery. and i so long for others to find that god too.

you see i think the church uses homosexuality as a red herring. i'll shake the red flag over here to divert your eyes so that you don't see my sexual brokenness. i know that in my own life the times i was overly concerned with other people's bedrooms/sexual lives/behaviors was when mine was helter skelter all over the place (mostly in the gutter).

can we all just agree that god wants us all to be more sexually healthy than we are today? whatever that looks like. please, can we stop shaming other people because our own shame is so great and looming that we feel like we need to spread it around?

there isn't some great dividing line that says my sexual brokenness is okay with god and that person's over there isn't. we're all broken. we all need redemption. we all need a god who is big enough to help us heal. let's stop wagging fingers in peoples faces and start to sit with our own brokenness. we all struggle at some level with self acceptance, intimacy and wholeness. homosexual marriage doesn't threaten your family. your own sexual brokenness threatens your family. focus on your own damn family and stop using others as an issue to assuage your guilt.

we who call ourselves christ followers must, in the most honest places of our souls, acknowledge that we know that jesus sat with all who were sexually wounded and offered friendship, healing and hope. how dare we say that there are those who must heal themselves before they can experience the grace of god?

shame on us.


of all people we should be the most understanding - but we're so afraid to acknowledge our own sexual sin/fantasies/behavior that we can't even afford ourselves the grace god extends to us for our own sexual healing.

please understand that i am in no way saying that i expect that jesus will heal anyone of homosexuality. i make no claim/stand/opinion on this - i just know that each of us needs to be more healed and healthy than we we are now. if that healing is found in a committed homosexual relationship before god that is none of my business and i glory in the fact that it's not mine to judge. i want to live a life that accepts, embraces and invites others to the healing i have found and continue to grow in.

if you have been wounded by the god of the religious right i am so sorry. for whatever role i played in that crazy mixed up world i repent. and i invite you to begin to pray, to a kinder, gentler god and ask to have the lies removed, to clear away the error, to do away with the hate and begin to feel the love and peace promised. that prayer continues to be answered in my life and i truly believe it will be in yours too.

here's something my friend steve wrote that might help those of us raised with that right wing god and need to learn to open our hearts and have more mercy and grace:

ragamuffin ramblings: what i wish straight christians knew

Thursday, April 24, 2008

penni's volcano

i told penni the other day that i was lighting a candle for her and she said she wasn't sure a volcano would help, but to light away. i told her it was a 3-wick candle and began to call it my volcano. it sits in the center of my kitchen table.

penni is giving the lead at her group tonight and i have been praying for her today and again lit the volcano. i laughed my head off when i walked back into the kitchen today and saw that the lava had gotten everywhere! so here you go pen - this is your volcano - you can do it woman!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

it is beautiful

my sponsoree told me about this quote today:

"i am not here to live up to your expectations, you are not here to live up to mine. you are you, and i am me and if we find each other it is beautiful."

Friday, April 18, 2008

god as i understand him

quote from anj:

So I’m convinced your deepest problem is not the cigarettes you smoke or the alcohol you drink in secret. It’s not the slander you speak and the gossip you cherish. It’s not the pornography you pleasure yourself with when no one’s looking. It’s not the baby you aborted; it’s not that you betrayed your brother, cheated on your bride, lied about the whole thing, and retaliated with murder [King Herod]. It’s not even that you slaughtered the Lamb and killed the Messiah. Your deepest problem is that somewhere deep down inside, you believe Jesus the Messiah rose from the dead just to kick your ass, when, in fact, He rose from the dead so you would believe all is forgiven. It is finished! Justice is accomplished. And the Father is pleading, “Come home, come home, come home!”

Monday, April 14, 2008

who is that girl?

okay, second time this has happened - so i might want to clarify... if a red-haired woman has started commenting on your blog like she is familiar to you but you don't know who she is it's "ME" under my real live name...

i have had two interactions with people that i thought knew who i was (people who have read this blog for years) and later on in conversations with "ME" they finally tell me that they didn't know i was "ME"/bobbie - so, if you don't know who i am for real and you've read this blog for a while please email me at emergingsideways AT to let me know because i am usually commenting under my real name just because that's what email i'm signed in as...

this one today made my day!

Friday, April 11, 2008

trigger happy

talked with our friend hope yesterday (for 98 minutes! thank god for unlimited long distance calling!) - i really need it. i have been in the dumps for the past couple of weeks, unable to shake things and even more unable to figure out why. it has all turned my nose into a brand new compulsive behavior that i have had a dickens of a time setting aside.

rarely can i set things aside unless i can understand them. i knew that i hadn't figured out what was driving me to this new obsession and until i did it wouldn't loose it's hold over me. i'm so embarrassed to even type out what it is. isn't that insane? i can talk about being raped here, my sexual addiction and my rock-bottom compulsive overeating behaviors like drinking cake mix while hiding between my counter and fridge - but i just can't seem to own up to the fact that i have been SUCKED into the deep world of role playing games. ugh. there, i said it. i am so embarrassed...

i have been coping by avoiding life by being a kick ass warrior princess in another world. she has little pink pig tails and a lightning bolt strike that takes out the meanest of monsters. her name is flutterbye and i love her. she has become this alter ego that is so productive, capable and needs no one. the purpose of this game is to work with other types of characters to build a team that can work together to overcome challenges. i on the other hand enjoy working alone and solving the story quests and exploring the vast towns, islands and story. it's brilliant, beautifully illustrated and so dang fun.

but i have neglected so very much because of it. i have withdrawn, knowing the whole time i was doing so, slightly veiling my involvement as helping my son to level up, but knowing consciously that it was virtual crack for my wounded soul.

i have talked about it with a few friends, hope being one of them and i tried during the times when i was clear headed enough (and not obsessing with the damn game) to understand what was pushing my nose into it. i wasn't having much luck. that's really the problem when we loose serenity - we need the serenity to figure out why we have lost the serenity we once had - so talking to someone who has serenity yesterday gave me a lot of the clarity and encouragement i so desperately needed. this is why recovery is a community. because sometimes i am strong and helping others, but so many times i am weak and need help myself. bearing each others burdens in the most beautiful way. not solving each other's problems, just sharing our experience, strength and hope - i heard the clarity and serenity in hope's words and knew all that i had traded for the dumb game.

but why? why had i given it away? i knew it was shame. i knew i was loaded with it, but i couldn't understand what it was that had caused it.

i mentioned in the meme that one of my bad habits is replaying social situations to the point of paranoia (not clinical, just your average, garden variety type of paranoia...) :) - in talking with hope i was able to reconstruct an event that gave me the clue to the big ah-ha. we have a small group with about 5 other couples. we pot-luck friday night dinner and share life together afterward. our kids play in the other room and we have really built a safe place to be together.

social interactions and community is difficult for me. i usually over share to create false intimacy, i withdraw and isolate in fear, i judge and feel judged and create a real mess for my introverted self. well this was going well - i had said at the first time we were together how scared i was and how difficult this was for me and it was well received and i had been so good about not oversharing, but being open when it was appropriate. we were really feeling like a community.

i realized when talking with hope that the one night when liam wasn't there i found myself the center of a lot of male attention and i reveled in it - and i finally realized that i had been flirting. nothing overtly sexual, but i was definitely flirting and enjoying the attention.

damn. number 4 on my bad habit list is shaming myself - and jumping ahead of myself on behavior. innocent flirting created a lot of shame in me and i jumped ahead and labeled myself a whore and was convinced that all that i feared about myself was true. i needed to put back on the 65 lbs. i had lost because i was not fit to be in public and community at the size i was now because it/i was just too dangerous...

i never said any of these things out loud or even really acknowledged them, but deep inside i knew that was what i was believing to be reality. my program saved me from myself and i didn't eat myself back into a binge, but i found a NEW AND EXCITING addiction to relieve me from myself and place me smack dab in a world that i could CONTROL. damn.

one of the things hope said yesterday (correct me here if i'm not verbalizing it like you did hope) was that when we are triggered we shouldn't be ashamed, triggers just show us parts of ourselves that aren't healed yet.


the jumping ahead of myself i do had me falling into adultery when all i really did was revel in attention and seek out some more of it. i realized that it wasn't at all sexual (like i had shamed myself into thinking), but just that plain old missing father love that i was looking for. male attention is a gaping wound in my soul and it just felt so very good to have people asking me how i was and really caring about my answer, being interested in my brain and what i had to contribute and not having it be about them, but just me. revelatory.

as i processed all of this with liam this a.m. over breakfast i told him that hope also told me that one day i'd be able to affirm myself in the ways i felt i needed others to affirm me. i told him that i joked with hope and said "when did you get so wise?" - i then said to him that i wanted to go to rehab. was there anyplace that would take such a messy person and help them regain the serenity they had lost? he said maybe there should be a place called "me-hab" - that made us laugh. and then i realized i had that already. i just wasn't taking advantage of it anymore. so i need to spend some time in me-hab today.

like the ah-ha that making empty my friend brought to me, changing the perspective on the triggers - making them clues and red flags for healing, instead of reminders of shame and fears will make all the difference. thus the title of this post - i don't know that i will ever get to that point of being happy to be triggered, but if i can use them as tools, i know that i will definitely be more happy, joyous and free.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

get to know me meme

boy grows up has meme'd me, and i've been in such a writing funk lately i think this could be just the thing to get my off my proverbial butt.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) What was I doing 10 yrs ago?

1998. wow, that seems like a life time ago. i had just given birth to my son. my daughter was just turning 2 and we had just moved into part-time youth ministry at a tiny little plymouth brethren church. i thought life couldn't get any better. boy was i wrong. it was the beginning of the worst 2 years of my life. i was undiagnosed post-partum and had moved into a community that loathed me. it was the beginning of the relapse of my addictions (sexual & food) and the end of my sanity. aren't you glad you asked? :p

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):

1. Blog this.
2. Go stateside for groceries (dairy products in this side of canada are horrible!).
3. Buy a new bra - why is it that is always a place we loose weight??
4. Book the rock climbing gym for my kids birthday party.
5. Hit the library.

3) Snacks I enjoy:

my food plan is only meals, but i have just found dried, unsweetened mangoes from the bulk barn and i am enjoying them as part of my meal - yummy!!

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

1. start a non-profit helping people in poverty & addiction take steps into a fuller, richer life.
2. fund as many organizations that are truly helping people trapped in poverty.
3. realize that god loves me way too much to trust me with a lot of money, because if i'm really honest i'd probably dive head first into any and every addiction on the planet....

5) Three of my bad habits:

1. wasting time on the computer
2. avoiding the things i'm supposed to do
3. re-hashing every social interaction i have and analyzing it to death becoming more and more paranoid that everyone hates me, i should have kept my mouth shut and i should never leave the house again...

6) 5 places I have lived: (i'm anonymous, so i'm going to be vague, just because i'd like to stay that way...)

1. eastern iowa
2. chicagoland
3. southeast wisconsin
4. maritimes, canada
5. pittsburgh area

7) 5 jobs I have had:

1. file clerk for a busy medical clinic in high school - i loved that job!
2. camp counselor
3. baker @ camp
4. closet/storage organizer/designer, store manager
5. chamber maid (lasted one weekend - for some very wealthy people who had a summer mansion in our town - hated it, had to wear the little white dress & serve them their after dinner drinks - the place smelled like bengay and made me feel like i was an extra in a movie)

8) 5 peeps I wanna know more about:


silver linings

i have been flat lately. remember when i said that i stood on the edge of the ocean in february and screamed "ha winter, it's february and i'm beach combing! you didn't get me!"?? well it was like winter took that as a challenge and reached out a long arm, scooped me up and said "wanna bet?"


these past few months have been hard. some wonderful bright spots, but they just don't seem to push me forward, i enjoy them and then stall again. stalled. that is exactly how i feel.

my sponsoree K is wonderful. we have really come to have a great friendship, one that i cherish deeply. she is really good at finding silver linings. little comments that help me see things from a different perspective.

in talking last night with my sponsor i had a different perspective fall on me. i told her that even though this season has been difficult, we are being present to the yucky emotions that sickness, death and winter has brought on - i am not eating them or stuffing them, but sitting with them - and (here's the ah-ha) i realized that my program is working. i might be on auto-pilot some of the time, but my food plan, my daily routine and my tools are doing the hard work for me because in the good times i have worked my program. that felt really good. so that's my silver lining for today. what's yours?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

togenberg you made my day!

just wanted you to know togenberg that opening up my email box today and seeing the FIVE comments from you on my blog just MADE MY DAY! thank you! i tried to follow your name to a blog but it's restricted and just in case you make it back here i wanted you to know that i really appreciated your kind words and questions. i'll do my best to respond, nobody leaves comments like those anymore and they are so encouraging to me, just wanted to say thank you!