Wednesday, February 29, 2012

day 9 - digesting

i find that there are things that come into my life that feel larger and more important somehow. like clues. that if i pay close enough attention i will learn something or understand something more clearly. birds, feathers, fire, drowning...and i'm sure there are others, but those are just somethings that seem to be reoccurring themes in my life these past couple of years and i learn to pay attention.

when my enneagram coach used the word "undigested suffering" i knew that this was a theme i needed to pay attention to. it keeps echoing in the strangest of places. walking the labyrinth the other day i'm standing on the path and i look at it and realize it looks like intestines, sorry to be gross, but it's true. it's what i thought of - walking to the center - ingesting, walking out - expressing (to put it gently) - i have been considering this theme every time it surfaces.

these past 24 hours i have been faced with the cruelest stomach bug i think i have endured - only food poisoning has rendered me less able to deal with life, but that seemed to be out of my system more quickly... this lingering plague has left me weak and dizzy, incoherent and unmotivated. i don't get sick often. and when i do i feel very guilty. i'm the caretaker, not the cared for. anyway - as i stood over the sink last night at 1:30 a.m. i realized i was getting the full monty of digestion in all it's glory.

i would gladly pick a more beautiful metaphor or theme to sit with, but this one came on its own, and i know it has much to teach me. this suffering, this undigested suffering has been carried around, stuck, blocking and keeping me from the life i want. it has begun to show itself and i realize most of all that digesting is a natural process. i don't have to work at it, i just need to let it happen. but i must be present for it, i must participate in the process.

i long to be fully healthy again, both from this flu bug and this suffering. i long to have my life back and find the joy of life in the small, beautiful places i was so able to do for so very long.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

day 8 - sick as a dog

naseau, chills, vomiting, achiness, sick as a dog, the kind of sick you think that it can't get worse, and then it does... can't really write.

buck's (son) nurse said that the flu was probably messing with his number bringing him low - we hadn't experienced that before, so it should clear up as he gets healthy again.

we're supposed to go away this weekend. we haven't had a vacation in over a year. really sad that it might be cancelled because of sickness. might be able to postpone until later in march break.

too much up in the air and feeling too crappy to care.

day 7 - it's still monday somewhere...

crap. taking sunday off as is supposedly okay to do for lent threw me off - i find that if i do something every day i can repeat it, but if i break the chain all bets are off...

i've been sitting up at the computer for hours, trying to waste time and not fall asleep because i'm on son watch tonight... totally forgot that i could have been blogging.

kept the kids home today. as i told a friend, it feels like we got drug through the weekend by our heels. it takes its toll.

he's appropriately in the safe zone now, so i can go to bed... but wish he was just a bit higher. we gave him less long acting insulin tonight, so that should have made the difference, and he wasn't all active today, so it should have been fine... the fact that it's not is disconcerting... calling doctor tomorrow to figure out what to do. we've never been at this place before. it is new uncharted territory and i don't like it at all. the only thing i hope is that this might push us up the chart for a pump for him...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

day 6 - 4 minutes before midnight

okay, i haven't missed my lenten commitment - i have 4 minutes until saturday is over... crazy busy day, brain is dead, boss did not get me my stock until last night to list in ebay, spent whole day scanning/cropping/listing/launching - it's far more time consuming than one would think. i usually like to have everything scanned and cropped around thursday - doing it all in one day makes me so taxed out.

forced myself to be social tonight, it was harder than i thought it would be, but i was glad that i went. it was a rollicking dance at our church for the whole family. cover songs and a pot luck - so different than what i grew up with. glad my kids are being raised in an environment that allows for celebration and silliness. it was really nice to dance with liam and be out for the night.

number one son is giving us some frights with his diabetes last night and tonight. he must have hit an insulin pocket and we just couldn't keep enough food in him to maintain his blood sugars... no rest even when you sleep on those kind of nights... am only still up because tonight he has complained of feeling horrible. figured it was from the dancing and the potluck access to lots of desserts. his blood sugar was high at bed snack and then came down like a rock - then he vomited, so we're not sure what to do. can't keep blood sugars up if he's vomiting, it means hospital if he continues. so i pumped him up with another glass of juice to either make him sick again so we at least know where we'll be tonight or to bring his levels back up...

could be a long one. think i'm headed to bed until i know more of what's going on. i keep hearing footsteps upstairs and wondering if he's headed for the bathroom... poor kid......

UPDATE: he was vomiting... liam has just taken him to hospital, any prayers would be appreciated. he's not in danger, just needs an IV to keep his blood sugars up (and the hydration doesn't hurt either).

Friday, February 24, 2012

day 5 - coming up for air

today was a glorious day. i awoke feeling like something had lifted. liam had taken the day off so that we could share a day alone, we got the kids off to school, made love in front of the roaring fire and luxuriated in a space where we had no where to go and nothing to do. he made me steak and eggs for breakfast and we even went out for chinese later in the day. we paid bills, caught up on paperwork and planned a mini-vacation to celebrate our kids upcoming birthdays. i am not sure if it's just a temporary moment, but i was present in my body, it felt like mine again somehow and i shared the day with my beloved.

i'm heading into a weekend with a lot of work to do and more social activity than i have had in a really long time. looking forward to it, but as always afraid that my resources will run dry. i have found that it is a quirk of my personality, one that hoards time and feels like the stamina needed to be social. knowing that i'm not the only person who does this helps some, but it still makes me tired just thinking about it all.

so here i am, showing up to the page, it's late in the day and i don't have a lot of deep thoughts, just wanted to be consistent in my commitment, and i have to keep reminding myself that i am doing it for me as no one seems to be reading... i am worth the effort, even and ever only for me.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

day 4 - looking for sunshine

woke up this morning with tummy issues, feeling weak, chilled and ready to go back to bed. i have not enjoyed how all of this writing is raking up the debris that had settled. like the aquarium that is beginning to look murkey - sifting through the gravel shows that it's far past time to empty things out and start over. the churning up is necessary, but is triggering me and making me feel more fragile than i have felt in a while...

i hate feeling weak. physically, emotionally, socially. not that anyone does, i know it is not unique to me, i just have so few real skills to cope when i do... so the tank is murkey, and the water needs replaced, i'm drowning in metaphors and finding that i'm hitting the wall with my desire to write. i am forcing myself to be here today. to keep writing, to make an effort. i know it's the right thing to do. the next right thing. i know that spring is coming. green grass, blue skies, warm air. i miss it greatly.

it is only my spiritual disciplines that have kept me from totally going off the rails this winter. 3 meals a day, no snacks, no trigger foods, not participating in any selfish behaviors to self satisfy, journaling every night, reading scripture, prayers from memory, going to meetings. very little of it breaks through, but the program, like a robot, keeps me moving forward. i am thankful.

they say that sunshine is the best disinfectant. bringing this crap out into the light will hopefully reduce it to it's normal size and allow me to see it for what it was, mistakes and learning. we will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it...

i remember in the fall my friend tex said that i sounded so good from my fb status updates, i had to admit that it was revenge. i was living well out of revenge. it was honest, but telling everyone about it wasn't. it was shallow and i was doing my best to rub their faces in it. i think that when the energy that had died i realized how little of it was for me. how little of it was penetrating to my core. i had become the very thing i loathed. shallow, competitive, petty and vengeful. the very things i was hurt by. what is it that bono says about your enemies, beware as they will define you? i hadn't had enemies in quite some time.

so on this dreary, melty day i am looking for sunshine, purify, cleanse, bleach me white with your hot, persistent light. i am weary of living my life outside of myself. may the deep heat find the core of my soul and warm it today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

day 3 - ash wednesday

ashes indeed... i can taste them - especially after re-counting yesterdays ick. as i was responding to a comment i likened what happened to a cave in - having to clear away the debris so that i can find the tunnel out and hopefully the light that will guide me. i hate that this is still sticking in my throat. it tastes like ashes.

we tried and tried to reconnect with this couple, two-on-two, mediator involved, withdraw social interactions until this was straightened out - nothing worked, even the mediator. i was so proud of myself for enduring it though. somehow they were able to move on like nothing happened, they punished us royally in community - gathered all of "our mutual friends" to their side and cried to them about how mean we were... we really never knew what hit us. somehow in all of this we were the bad guys. the way i tried to explain it to them when we sat with the mediator was "my best friend cheats on my other best friend on my computer and i become the bad guy for bringing it up and lose them both." (and everyone else with them).

i was determined to allow her to have her dignity in this. it was a foolish mistake - i had no idea that she had a doctorate degree in denial. she got so angry at me, not for the emotional intimacy that had happened between her husband and i, but for putting a halt to it. he was never so stable and useful to her as when i was his best friend and confidant. it was like those women who turn their heads while their daughters are molested just so that they don't have to meet their own husbands needs. i had never encountered anything like this before.

all i knew was that i had become incredibly codependent with both of them. i had slipped under the family fence and everybody liked it that way. when i hopped the fence i became persona non grata and the enemy. i never told anyone other than my therapist and the woman i saw in his place while he was in europe for the summer. it created such an awkward situation with our mutual friends. we had for years spent friday nights together, cooking, eating and praying together. after this happened we all determined that it should continue, and when we went back the next week it was done. kaput. finished. liam and i were relieved, but little did we understand that it was just finished to get us out of the group - the rest of them continued to meet regularly without us.

i was so wounded. shell shocked. crushed. i found out later that another couple was deeply jealous of our friendship with them and were part of the coup to take our place. we knew we lived in a transitional community, and two of the couples were studying, we figured that they would be moving on after graduation, and that our friends were the stationary ones, so we determined to clear the deck with this family and not the other two... little did we know that this shame (i wasn't the only woman he was seeking intimacy with) would drive them from our community - while the other two families have stayed...

so i sit with the debris... still feeling hurt, confused and shell-shocked. it doesn't make sense that this is still bothering me, but it is. it is keeping me from re-engaging in community and it shadowed a lot of treatment we received in the churches we moved away from... the irony is this all happened just as we bought our home. we had decided that stability was something our family needed and that we were putting down real live roots. i had moved 18 times (some of those were within the same community, but 18 moves...) and i wanted more for my kids, and for us.

i naively thought that i would never have to say goodbye again... how very wrong i was...

the pain suffered from this close knit group imploding and the healthy, wonderful goodbyes from families or students moving on coinciding made/makes me want to isolate myself. somewhere deep down i believe that it is smarter to withdraw than to re-injure myself by having to trust others or say goodbye...

i know in my head that working things through with the other two families is healthy and good, not stupid and naive... but i still cannot make myself do it.

i was determined that i would not slink away during the times our community said goodbye to them. i was not going to hang my head like i had done anything wrong. i had made my amends, not that they had done any good, but i was clear of any shame. i went forward with the group to pray around them during their last sunday at church with us. i had one hand on his shoulder, and one on hers. during the prayer he slid his hand (that was on his wife) over mine - during the prayer, in our church, in front of my whole community. we had never touched before. ever. i did not know what to do. i was gobsmacked and afraid she could feel it, that someone could see it - how could i get out of this? what did i do to cause this?

the cherry on the top of all of this debris is that this man called me in tears to say goodbye and to tell me that i was right. that i wasn't crazy. that the things i confronted them on in our mediation were true, and that he was now willing to admit that it wasn't us that caused the rift - that he was looking for intimacy outside his marriage... and he was sorry.

needless to say it was not salve to my wounds, but fodder to feed the unhealthiest places in me...

i have talked all of this through with liam and my therapist, but i still feel great amounts of shame for just being me. it was after that day that i started to pack on the weight... it's not great amounts, but my clothes are tight and i feel gross and i just can't seem to shake it. it's all just a bunch of rocks to me right now, i don't know which one to shift to lift out of the way... so i write.. and i look at each one, churn up the dust and remember. hopefully digesting so that i can get it out of my system... but it still tastes like ashes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

day 2 - fat tuesday

finding it harder to be back here today than i thought it would... not sure where to go, but maybe the FAT in tuesday is a good start. i hate that word. it gives me great shame. i noticed the picture that i had as my profile here on the site and wished greatly to have that body back. i feel so very far from that person - standing on the beach, rejoicing in the beauty of the day and the wholeness i felt... the wheels fell off very soon after.

we were vacationing with another family and the relationship between the husband (her husband) and i was becoming more intimate than i was comfortable with. 2 weeks prior i would not have noticed, he seemed so safe and "sexless" to me - like a brother, i had a bit of a crush on him because he was so affirming to me - but it always seemed weird because he was so awkward and nerdy - 2 weeks prior i asked him to look at my computer while our two families were dining together at our house between 2 events.

his wife had shamed him earlier that day by screaming at him publicly during the picnic we were at. it was always so difficult for all of us to navigate the after affects of her outbursts. he had done the talk at church that morning and somehow she always seemed to need to humiliate him after any success - it was such a strange dynamic. we returned to our house after the picnic for supper. that was when i asked him to take a look at my computer.

after we ate dinner together we all walked down the hill to the river to watch the fireworks. all feeling a bit shell shocked and on eggshells, trying to pretend it never happened. things just weren't like they used to be, we used to be so carefree and fun together - now it was strained and awkward, always trying to regain the easy way we used to have.

upon returning home i noticed that something was left on my computer that looked fishy. i investigated and found that he had logged into websites that upon looking i found that he had created a new personality, purposefully created for cheating on his wife. ick... this changed everything. up until that point i had thought that it was just my broken that was making things between he and i weird, i hadn't realized that he was looking for intimacy outside of his marriage. this truly changed everything.

i couldn't pretend any more. i couldn't dabble in the attention. i realized very quickly how close i had come to really stepping into a full-blown affair.

i called liam to my office to show him what i had found. he knew all about the weird high i got from our friends attention and he told me repeatedly that he thought our friend had a crush on me too - i felt so open and honest, but really i was in great denial of how very powerful this attention was for me. i never wanted to admit that it was becoming a full blown addiction.

we looked at the sites together. we saw that he had been corresponding with other women, pictures, emails, chats... not sure if he was setting things up for business travel or just dabbling - but we knew we needed to address this somehow...

i emailed him at the fake email address and said "i know"... he panicked and denied for a few emails and then finally admitted it and i found them all the next morning in my inbox - he said he trashed the email address by changing his password to something unmemorable and said he'd never do it again. i wrote and said that liam and i needed to meet with him to discuss our upcoming vacation together. i was determined not to go, i was determined to change our plans.

the three of us met at our house and both liam and he felt that proceeding with the vacation was a good idea (for very different reasons) - he committed to tell his wife and i said i would only go if we could all clear the air and that the four of us could spend our time together making our own marriages stronger. this showed liam and i some major areas of improvement necessary for our own marriage too. he said yes and i reluctantly agreed. biggest mistake ever. i should have trusted myself. i should have known that his wife would have never agreed to deal with any of this.

it started us on a hellish camping trip, filled with them screaming at each other, and especially their son, beloved friend of my two kids. it was like camping in a war zone. when he started to yell at me i was out of there. we packed up and went home early... never knowing if he truly told her anything... it created a huge elephant between all of us that we had NO idea how to remove...

the profile picture was taken the day before the explosion began... after that everything changed... i think that i was so ashamed of my body being sexual again that it triggered a spiral that needed fat to make it safe again... it is only my program that has kept me from skyrocketing back to where i was before my recovery started...

so, maybe this connection - that body and this body - that one that was so free one day, and so unsafe the next... i never really understood how very close i came to an full-blown affair... the dabbling gave me so much energy, i felt so alive, so powerful... it was a drug of sorts, it was my sexual addiction morphing into something new and unidentifiable somehow (until after) maybe somehow i won't need this fat to keep me safe anymore once i digest all of this tangle...

ashes tomorrow...

Monday, February 20, 2012

lent vent

if it were not for rss readers this post would go unnoticed... i guess i am thankful for that, although i am seeking some anonymity again. i realized in the shower the other day that i really needed to write. my immediate thought was WHERE? and a brain fart said "wish i had a place where no one knew my name"... and then i went... DUH. here.

those of you who really do know my name are safe and counted among some of my very absolute favorite people on the face of this earth. strange how very few of you i have met, and yet i hold you most dear... some of you closer than my very own extended family.

i realized that i have been blocked. that i am sitting in a bleak place, heading into lent and longing for some connection that will break through my winter discontent and bring me to a place of resurrection and new life.

i was at an enneagram workshop a few weeks ago and the teacher, who knows me quite well, and feels very safe to me because he is also in recovery and is the same enneagram type (4 wing 5) that i am, spoke of how often people in recovery for long periods of time get to a place where it feels as if the ground opens up and they are faced with suffering and fear sometimes even greater than that which drew them to recovery in the first place. he said this why and when many who seem so strong and so capable relapse and throw their lives away.

it was the first thing that anyone had said to me in months that made any sense. it is exactly where i found myself in january. so lost. so sad. so afraid. nothing in my life seemed to have caused such a depth of emotion but there i was. nothing made sense. everything had lost it's ability to touch me. i am someone who can live off of the emotion of finding a beautiful feather in an unexpected place for a week - and yet real, deep, moving, wonderful things pinged off me like i was made of teflon.

there were times i was able to enjoy something in the moment, but it had no legs to carry me like it normally would. i guess it felt like there was some type of black hole opening up in me that no light could penetrate. even though i was not hopeless, and i am not still. i was not opposed to intervention and am continuing to see my therapist and my spiritual director, but it just seemed different some how. like i was insulated or once removed from the experience.

so when he spoke of this large suffering opening up it felt like i had heard a dog whistle calling me to attention.

he said that the opening showed the suffering that was undigested - undigested - a food word, means i need to pay attention. i know the way through all of this. i have been here before. i know it works when i work it - and i have far better tools and support at hand now than ever before. i am capable and able to digest whatever this suffering is. i just need to sit with it.

that is the best part of this horrible season. my spiritual disciplines and my program are carrying me through somehow. the routine of my life, even though i feel i am moving through it like a sleepwalker some days, is keeping me on the path. i am still going to meetings, i am still writing every day and reading every night. 3 meals, no snacks, no trigger foods. it is working - even though i am unable to feel it.

mild depression? SAD? not sure, but i am not hopeless, suicidal or violent - which is usually the quick evidence that i am headed nowhere fast. so i am sitting with undigested suffering. i have no idea what that means, but the metaphor of the "undigested" is so poignant to me.

the shower helped me realize that my most able way to digest anything is to write about it. and yet i am not writing. i have been blocked, but i think it had more to do with not having a safe place to do that. i have abandoned this place that worked so well for me once. to keep with the digestion them (sorry) i have been constipated - school kicked my ass, both in reading and in writing. what i did finish i did well, but i hate reading things i do not love, and even worse, i loathe writing about them. i am not finished, but i long to be. it has been a start and stop, move forward, drop it all time that has creamed my confidence and given me great shame. i am up to the work, i am smart enough and able, but i have so little will to write what others want and seek a grade that will satisfy a requirement, it is no motivator for me at all, it is in fact, a de-motivator if i am completely honest...

so here i am. and here i will be, this is my lenten commitment. i will be writing here every day (except sundays) and digesting whatever the hell i can find to help me find joy in the buds of the promise of spring.