27 June 2013

Lean into the Pain

Last weekend was amazing.  In a few days I experienced extreme emotions related to the vulnerability of sharing secrets and odors in a van with five other people, the adrenaline of competition and hundreds of people going for the same goal, the endorphins that come from a runner's high, the emotional connections with genuine friendship, the frustration of combining personalities and opinions, the physical exhaustion of running 19 miles in two days, the sleep deprivation, the social "performance" expected with friends and strangers, side-splitting laughter and ultimately a severe compulsion to be alone. 

Now that I'm home and settled back into life I find myself dealing with the aftermath of the feelings and to be honest I feel totally hung-over.  I miss my friends.  I miss the highs.  There are periods of longing, wishing I were still in the middle of it and feeling anticipation about when I can do I again.

But I also remember how incredibly over stimulating it was.  And I can't imagine ever doing it again.

We are such complicated creatures.


A couple weeks ago Pete and I were both having bad days. I don't remember the details or the circumstances but it was time to leave for church and I couldn't find him.  When I did find him he was sitting in a folding chair in our office and he looked at me with heavy eyes. 

"They say to 'lean into the pain.'  But I'm so tired of the pain."  His heavy eyes filled with tears.

I feel tremendous gratitude for the friendships I've made, the wisdom I've encountered, the knowledge and understanding I've gained.  Sometimes it seems as though happiness is just out of reach, I've almost figured it out.  One more breakthrough or one more epiphany and I'll get there. 

But the truth is, I'm a mortal.  The people I love are mortals.  There is going to be sadness, loneliness and confusion.  Anxiety causes the obsessive parts of my nature to feel like the world is spinning around me and I can't find my bearings.  Self-doubt, insecurity, guilt and disappointment float across my thoughts like clouds, giving me only brief glimpses of the glorious sunlight. 

Today is a cloudy day.

Sometimes my best option is to just lean into the pain. 

What did I do last weekend? See here.

18 June 2013

Camp Scabs Idaho


Okay potato people!

Scabs has asked me to help host the Idaho installment in her Camp Scabs series. If you aren't familiar with what Camp Scabs is, go here. But it is basically a safe retreat for women affected by the betrayal of porn, sexual addiction or infidelity. We validate, commiserate, relate and we don't sleep, because we can't stop talking.

If you need to sleep, that's okay, come anyway.

Sooooo... anyone is welcome to come, even if you don't live in Idaho. We are just trying to get an idea of how many sistas to expect. So please fill out the survey below and shoot me an email and we will keep you in the loop.

(**For more specific questions about cost, anonymity, length, etc please read through either of the links above.)

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

16 June 2013


Last night I sat around with five of my friends and ate yummy food.   At first we talked about kids, epidurals and our paranoia of a man hiding under our car at night, ready to slit our achilles and steal us into the wilderness.  Ya know, the usual fodder for GNO conversation.

Then the conversation took that inevitable turn, where everyone shares their story of distant relatives who were sex addicts or "so-and-so's" husband who went to strip clubs on business trips.  It was full of drama and shocked disbelief as it usually is.  In my mind I thought of all of you and wished they could see your faces and know your stories, acknowledge the humanity of our husbands and stop treating our lives like an episode of SVU.  I listened in silence, but it felt like the tremors that come before the earthquake and my composure felt unsteady.

Then it turned again.  To breast augmentation.  Sitting next to me, Rachel went on and on about her amazing boob job.  (She really does have an amazing body.)  This was fine, until she said something that triggered me so badly I had to get up off my seat.

"On our way home from the initial consultation with the doctor Josh and I got into a huge argument because he said I had chosen a size that would be too small."

I once saw "Josh" at a PASG meeting, over a year ago.  I told him he could tell Rachel I was there, Pete was there too.  I always assumed he had told her.  I used to daydream that she would call me, or come sit at my house and we would commiserate for hours and become best friends.  She never did call.  And now, here she was sitting next to me and ridiculing "women who look like flat-chested boys" and seeming perfectly okay with her porn-addicted husband's demands of her chest size. Why didn't I feel okay with it?

I took my dishes to the sink and the tears threatened, and before I could hold them back I bolted out the front door, mumbling an awkward thank-you to the hostess.

I drove to an empty parking lot to cry it out and make some effort at processing what had just happened.  I realized a couple painful things.

1.  I have beautiful friends.  But none of them are the "lusty" type, in attitude, in dress, in figure, in appeal.  I've never felt threatened by my friends.  And as humiliating as this is to admit, I've always felt like I was more attractive (at least to Pete) than any of my friends were.  Suddenly it occurred to me that I was totally threatened by Rachel.  None of this is her fault, it is all based in my insecurities about myself and my relationship with Pete.  But the hurt was magnified by the unfounded expectation I had nurtured for months that Rachel was supposed to be my loyal WoPA companion, not a competitor in the game where men's attention is the prize.

2. I know other husbands have been totally honest with their wives about specific women they lusted after.  I was in complete denial that Pete lusted after women in our "real" life.  It was one thing to cope with the idea that he fantasized about women on the computer screen, but I never thought he fantasized about women I actually knew.  When I finally came home last night I knew I was in a bad place and had no intention of sharing it all with Pete.  But I had to know, so I asked him if he fantasized about women I knew.  He admitted he had.  That was enough for me.  I didn't ask for names.  I knew I wasn't strong enough to have my relationships with those women remain uninfluenced with that knowledge.  But it was a new, bitter pill to swallow.

This morning my eyes are puffy and I want to stay in bed.  I have to go to church and face some of the women who I totally humiliated myself in front of last night.  I have to see Rachel and try to undo the damage I've done in my head about her. 

New boundary.  The only safe Girl's Night Out for me right now is a 12-step meeting. 

07 June 2013


"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly despairing, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
Agatha Christie

I'm going zip-lining in the mountains today with my co-workers.  I'm psyched! >> FIST PUMP <<
Next week is vacation with the fam.
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.  I love you all more than ever. 

04 June 2013

Fantasies (Rated PG)


Pete and I were talking once about fantasy and reality.  It seems that addicts love to live in their fantasy world.

"What's so wrong with your reality?" I asked.  Feeling hurt that I was the woman in his reality and it felt as though he preferred his fantasy. 

"Don't YOU ever have fantasies?" He asked. 

I assumed he meant sexual fantasies and my mind drew a blank.  But I'm beginning to understand that I indulge in a fantasy world too.

I fantasize about waking up in the morning when my body feels rested, and just lying there in the comfort of my blankets, without little voices and faces pestering me about breakfast and cartoons.

I fantasize about getting a phone call at 4:00 from Pete where he says "Don't worry about dinner tonight.  I'm getting take-out.  What sounds good to you?"

At church I fantasize about someone saying something wonderful about me from the pulpit, complimenting me in front of the entire congregation.

I fantasize about having a friend who stops by for no reason.

I fantasize about moving with my little family to Amsterdam and living in a tiny cramped apartment.  We would ride our bikes everywhere and on the weekends in the Spring we would go see the dutch tulips. 

I fantasize about having a mother who loves herself enough to love and accept me unconditionally.

And of course, sometimes I fantasize that sex addiction isn't a part of my life.  I imagine Pete spending his evenings eating dinner with us, and going to movies with us rather than attending SA meetings.  I dream that our hardest conversations would be about our six-year-old's fiery temper.  I fantasize about never seeing that look on his face right before a confession, and the excruciating anticipation about what the words are going to be. 

So, I'm sorry if you are disappointed.  The most scanadalous fantasy I ever have is when I daydream that this song was written about me. 

There are a lot of fun covers of this song.  Brandon Flowers here and T. Swift here