Sunday, April 30, 2017

New Discoveries and Uncomfortable Things

Disclaimer- this post is going to talk about some very sensitive and personal things. If discussion about "marital relations" is upsetting, triggering, or uncomfortable to you.. or if you're under 18, please pass. My intent is not to upset my readers, rather to teach, enlighten, and inform. If you do choose to pass on this post, I will not be offended in the least- in fact, here's the TL/DR version of this post:
One of the major problems in my second marriage was because
I was responding emotionally on a subconscious level to one of his dysfunctions.

 (I'll post some pictures to give the more-sensitive readers a chance to close the tab/window without having to read stuff that makes them uncomfortable.)







You've been warned, but you're still here. I applaud your courage.

As most of you know, I was married for 3 and a half years to a man with two huge dysfunctions. One diagnosis he outright rejects and it remains completely untreated and unmanaged. Today, I'm talking about the other one.... but I'm not actually going to talk about his dysfunction. I'm going to talk about my reactions to that particular dysfunction.

He is a sex addict. He sees sex as necessary to his functionality. He doesn't see sex as optional, as icing on the cake of life. Because of that attitude, everything he did physically with me- hugs, holding hands, kissing- was with the end goal of sex in mind.

Not intimacy, just sex.


Sex and Intimacy are not the same thing.

Intimacy doesn't necessarily require removal or moving of clothing. Emotional intimacy is about being honest with yourself and your partner, being vulnerable to each other, and providing a safe place for your partner to be vulnerable.

About Year 2, I developed what I'm going to call "sexual apathy" toward him. I had no interest in sex with the man I was married to. This wasn't normal to me. My first husband and I enjoyed a healthy sexual facet throughout our 10-year marriage. So this loss of interest bothered me- something was wrong!

Then around our 3rd anniversary in the spring of 2016, the sexual apathy became sexual repulsion: I distinctly and specifically wanted to not be with him. The idea of being with him sexually was repulsive, gross, yucky. And yes, this desire to not spend time with him extended to other settings besides the bedroom. I knew I had to change something. I knew for a fact he wasn't going to change-- bishops, stake presidents, and other leaders had given him direction, and while he would obey that direction, he didn't accept it as actually applicable to him... And that was the problem- while his behavior may have changed, his attitude didn't. And I believe it never will.

So I asked for a divorce.

He believes the problem is his physiological. I don't know if he will ever see the problem as being (at least in part) his attitude. So I pray for the woman in his life, whoever she may be, whatever her background. I pray that she will have the gift of discernment- that she will be perceptive to his state of mind and his motivations, that she will be aware of her own feelings and state of mind, and be able to keep herself and any children involved safe, both emotionally and physically.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The L-word

"I love you." It's used in all kinds of settings.

We say it to family members.
We use it as a humorous thanks.
We use it in mocking.
And we even seek it to gain validation and sense of self value.

We have the "I love you" from a child, simple and pure.. and sometimes a little fleeting.
There's the drunk "I love you," which doesn't mean little more than any other pickup line.
The "Well, I love you, too!" shot off at someone who has been rude or harsh.
And then there's the romantic "I love you," that singles seek, crave...
And fear!!

But if we crave it, why fear it?

Here's the thing- we all have history. Some histories are full of wonder and adventure. Other histories are peppered with hurts and struggles and brokenness.

That wonder and adventure can imbue a heart with joy and trust and joy.

And that brokenness can make a heart a little skittish and skeptical, fearful.

I've recently said, "I love you," to someone. And it scared me. While the sentiment is reciprocal, it still scares me. When I think about my feelings, I feel such a mix of emotions.

But the one feeling that seems overarching is fear. Because it has been so powerful, I've analyzed it:

What am I afraid of?
What do I fear?

Love is scary because it's a risk. You put your heart out there. It may get picked up and handled with care and tenderness.. or neglected and ignored.. or pricked and poked and beaten and crushed.

And that's the scary part. Fear of hurt. That fear comes from that history I mentioned earlier. If others have hurt me, what's to stop this new person from hurting me? That's scary. Terrifying.

As I've thought about my situation, I've come to realize that for me, it's a fear of loss:
What if I lose him somehow?
What if I tell him something about myself that scares him off?
What if he gets bored with me?
What if he meets someone who grabs his attention?

He's the best thing to happen to me in a very long time. Years, at least. Smart, funny, kind, good... And likes me! Loves me!

So I risk it. I choose to be brave and tell him how I feel.

I don't know what the future holds for us, for me. But I'm working like crazy to not free or freak pit about those things. I'm choosing to enjoy what we have right now.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Why Not a Cross?

I recently started dating again. He's not of my faith. Christian, but a different variety of Christianity.

Most Christians revere and display crosses to commemorate the death of the Savior of mankind.

Sometimes the cross is bare- just a couple of pieces of wood fixed together.

Sometimes the cross is hung on the wall, or affixed atop their buildings of worship.. or installed in front of the building.

Sometimes the cross is draped with a purple or white cloth to recognize the shroud left behind when Jesus rose from the tomb.

Sometimes people add a ring of thorns, the "crown" He was given by the soldiers.

Sometimes the cross is a little more realistic and includes a figure of the Savior- becoming a crucifix.

But we Mormons are different- we don't display these images and figures. My boyfriend asked why: Why don't we have crosses and crucifixes in and on our churches?

Because that's not how we choose to remember Him. Yes, He died for us:

He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, paying for my sins, allowing me the opportunity to eventually become perfect, as He and His Father are.

He died on the cross so He could rise from the dead, being resurrected, opening the gates of the tomb so I can also raise from the dead.

But He's not on the cross anymore. He lives! He's no longer on the cross, no longer in the tomb.

"Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."

Disney Princesses- Revisited!

Some of you may remember my first Disney Princess post from way back in 2012!!

As I've thought and explored and re-watched these movies... and new movies have come out, I feel the need to revisit this post, at least the part about Belle and Beast.

Remember what I said about Belle?
"Belle lived in his house. They talked, did stuff together. They shared interests and thoughts. They interacted."
Some have pointed out to me that because Belle was the Beast's "prisoner", there's indication of Stockholm Syndrome. And I agreed... for a while. With that limited information, yes it was... but it wasn't. There are nuances to true Stockholm syndrome that don't fit the story.

So I don't think it was really Stockholm:

Maybe Belle didn't have anything. Maybe Beast was the one "afflicted." Maybe he actually had Lima Syndrome, where the captor bends his will to the captive, when the captor is the one who changes and adopts the values and standards of the captive.

See, Belle maintained her standards, her values, and her strengths. She sassed him, defied him, and even left! By contrast, Beast provided her with her own room, directed those in his employ to attend to her needs, and she got really quite a lot of freedom around the estate- except for the one wing, she had free run of the place. That's exactly NOT Stockholm!

Ultimately, it was Beast who changed to adopt Belle's standards, expectations, and values. Despite his emotional immaturity, he developed compassion, personal strength of will, and even courage and selfless love. Belle wasn't stupid- she saw this growth, and her heart responded to this new-and-improved Beast.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


For real??!?
Once upon a time, I was a foster mom. One morning as we were getting ready for school, G-10 got on her brother, B-11. This was nothing unusual as she had a habit of poking at him. I asked what the row was about. Apparently, she didn't like his fashion sense: he was wearing sweatpants.. AGAIN! I told her that I hadn't noticed. The pants were reasonably clean, and I was just glad he was wearing pants!

My daughter didn't understand that her focus on the negative affected other aspects of her life... and that focus was a choice.

I saw this video a few weeks ago:

Happiness is a choice.. and brings a tremendous advantage to your life:

The Happiness Advantage:
Better Secure Jobs
Better keeping jobs
Superior Productivity
More Resilient
Less Burnout
Less Turnover
Greater Sales

Mr Achor suggests some things we can do each day to increase our own personal Happiness Advantage:

* 3 Gratitudes- Get a notebook or open a new document in your cloud storage or get a big poster paper and put it up in your bedroom or kitchen. Each day, write three new and unique things you're grateful for.
* Journaling- Each day, write about one positive experience you have had over the last 24 hours.
* Exercise- This teaches the brain that behavior matters. How we act, what we physically do affects our brains and how we think.
* Meditation- Stopping and focusing on one thing helps overcome the "cultural ADD" of multitasking and allows you to focus on the task at hand and be present.
* Random Acts of Kindness- Whether it's writing one positive note or email to someone in your social network or complementing a friend on their cute skirt or doing a chore without being asked... Do one kind thing for another person.

I'm grateful for good friends who laugh with me.
And for my health.
And for indoor plumbing.

The internal combustion engine
The internet
My mother

Pork chops

My bed
Helen's insight- praying for protection against discouragement.

Laundry machines
My car

Christopher Columbus

Job interviews

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Today's Testimony

I'm a good actress. I've worn the mask of Molly Mormon for a long time. But that isn't who.. what I always am. For the last about 2 years, I've really struggled. My testimony took a couple really hard hits... And those hits were at least partially my own fault.

Asking the wrong question, and not being patient, and not being open to "outside the box" answers.

There was a Thing in my life and I couldn't reconcile it with my own capacities and the principles of the gospel.

I prayed for a solution. Others involved also prayed for solutions. Leaders had no direction other than "pray about it".... Because we hadn't? The answers didn't come. And answers didn't come. And they didn't come and didn't come and didn't come. I felt abandoned by Father. I still knew academically that He was there, but it felt like He thought I didn't "need" or deserve His help as much as others.. or maybe my prayers got lost in the shuffle, or He couldn't be bothered by the effort or time to answer me.

If I didn't get answers, why pray? Or attend church? Or bother with the Word of Wisdom or Law of Chastity, or any of the other things we are asked to do?

Why even stay a member of this church?

After things completely fell apart, and the Thing was taken from my bundle of burdens, I was talking with a friend. She's young, beautiful, and wiser than I suspect she realized. And not LDS. I told her about these changes in my life. She said that my answer was the ability and strength to leave the Thing. It wasn't really my Thing to begin with, not my burden to bear.

Father didn't expect me to continue to live with that burden. He didn't not-answer. Rather, He guided me and directed me and prepared me to do what needed done for my protection from further collateral damage from the Thing.

I didn't always follow that direction, and I paid the consequences for those choices.

But my Rescuer still helped me get out.

And that was my answer.

I'm still not back... completely, but maybe I'm making progress.