08 July 2013

Diarrhea of the Mouth

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. 

"Maybe I just don't have anything to say." I said to myself.

Who am I kidding? Jane always has something to say.

I really liked Alicia's post today.  I have no answers.  I have no passion to share the answers I don't have.  All I can share is my story.  And this is my story today.

After 48 days of sobriety, diligent recovery efforts, and "present" living, Pete slipped.  And then he relapsed.  The day before a vacation.  Again. 

Before the porn and masturbation, there was that ugly conversation, where he blamed and victimized and minimized.  With each word I took deep breaths and tried to escape my body and watch the conversation as a detached third party.  Tension built in my jaw and shoulders as I braced for impact, but I made a valiant attempt to validate some of his feelings.  Desperate to engage me in his chaos he pushed. He dangled. I bit. 

In my head I cussed at myself. "DAMN IT! YOU LET HIM BEAT YOU AGAIN!" I wanted to say it out loud but instead I sobbed and asked him to leave me alone. 

The next day he hated me.  It was like a steam that evaporated off his angry body.  I laid out some boundaries.  He acted out. I followed through on a boundary and it felt empowering and peaceful.

Days and "slips" later I floundered and doubted my boundaries.  There was no peace.  There was no empowerment.  I felt lost and confused.  Where were my answers now?


For years of my life I built a reservoir of faith.  I deposited and deposited, I paid my premiums so that when the flood of doubt came I could cash out my spiritual insurance.  The last few months I have withdrawn every last penny from that account. 

It's been so easy to withdraw from God.  My crisis of faith gave me the perfect excuse to ignore all faith promoting exercises.  It's been easy to cuss and rebel.  To surround myself with other rebels and I took a sick pleasure in mocking the pious and religious.  It felt cathartic and I started making deposits of apathy in the account that covers my soul. 

Only twice in the last six months I have felt close to God.  At church in Hawaii and in the Arizona sun with Yoga Amber.  But otherwise I have been content to muddle in negativity and cynicism.  I was too proud for sacred things and tender feelings. 

And now I am empty.  My spiritual well is dry and I feel no lasting peace.  Last week when I found myself discouraged and confused I tried to pray.  But between me and God was a mountain of spite, doubt and the ridicule I'd indulged in.  My own shock and shame at my pride prevented me from feeling any kind of inclinations of the Spirit. 

Somewhere along the line I bought into the world's view that righteous means self-righteous, and religious means intolerant.  Fools trust God and intelligent people solve their own problems.  Personal conviction is narrow-minded and idealism is naïve.  Strict moral codes are unrealistic and obsolete.  Contemporary thinking is not based in faith, but rather in science. 

I admire you Alicia, and all my other friends who take their relationship with God seriously.  My friends who seek genuinely for spiritual improvement, who have endless trust in God, who set goals for being in places that will strengthen their faith.  I especially admire those who don't take spirituality for granted, and particularly anyone who has relinquished their faith and then found it again with humility and recommitted zeal. 

God bless you all.  And God bless me.   


  1. I love you, Jane. I'm so sorry it's all been and continues to be so hard. This IS hard stuff, all of it. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I'll take any prayers I can get!

  2. I'm sorry things are so hard right now, Jane. I really admire the fact that you are being so introspective. You're really looking at what is going on. It's heartbreaking, but the fact that you are seeking and seeing a little more clearly is fantastic. I'll be praying for you. Try to keep your head up :)

    1. I appreciate your compassion and encouragement. Thanks.

  3. I completely understand where you are coming from here. I don't know your past but I can say, for me, it's difficult to maintain faith when you have grown up immersed in religious culture. I read your post this morning, ironically after my morning devotion, and thought about it (and you)as I got ready for work this morning. Just thought I would share a few things that crossed my mind.

    First, I'm not trying to offer a fix - simply insights gathered from my own struggles with faith. Here goes:

    I have found that knowledge and wisdom are two very different attributes and one does not necessarily beget the other. Knowledge seems necessary, in my opinion, to help us cope with and understand our humanity - or maybe better stated our fallen state of humanity. However, genuine wisdom is what helps us understand our spirituality and how to reconcile the two (humanity and spirituality).

    It's been my own personal experience that knowledge is sobering (and useful) but can also be an exterminator to hope when we feed the mind and starve the spirit. Lost hope plants seeds of doubt which grows into lack of faith.

    So what to do? I don't know. I don't have the answer. It seems to me that maybe a place to start is to let your mind rest from seeking knowledge & understanding and let your spirit seek hope & wisdom.

    All very ethereal and sometimes not helpful when you're feeling cynical. So maybe a really annoying post ;) But I'm ok with that. Thinking of you and grateful for your posts.

    1. Ginny I really really like these thoughts. Thank you.

  4. I love you. Our stories, the WoPA stories, the stories of women struggling and in pain, the stories of motherhood -- they are so rich and powerful and sad and heartbreaking and reassuring and hopeful and a thousand other things -- and it is our stories that bring us together. Thanks for sharing -- I think more than anything, we need real voices, 'cause in real pain, only 'realness' means anything. Hugs.

  5. I am sorry you are going through this, Jane. I am sorry you are going through all of it. But I love your honesty and openness and vulnerability. THIS is life. THIS is faith. It isn't clear cut. None of it is. Love you.

  6. I just wanted to comment on the floundering after you set those boundaries. But as a disclaimer, I must say I am very new at this whole boundary thing -- VERY new, and also I read your blog because I think you are pretty inspiring.

    I took a course on addiction and these are some of my notes from a specialist who works with all kinds of addicts -- drug, alcohol, sex, etc.

    My notes:
    "Addiction cannot exist in isolation. It is a family illness. We (the family members and addict) all play a part. How do we get the addict to change, how do we facilitate the refining fire to burn within the addict? Changing ourselves will begin to facilitate change in the addict. We must hold on to him with an open hand. When we behave with persecuting behaviors toward the addict, it chases them away. Holding on to the addict with an open hand, means we let them go when they choose addictive behavior. We don't go down that destructive path with them, we let them go. But at the same time, we need to be able to have Tough Love toward them. Tough Love is not for cowards. As we show tough love, the addict usually gets worse before he gets better. But this is why we must take care of ourselves first -- Self Care is the absolute key for change, both with the spouse and the addict. Allow God's refining fire to burn within the addict. Don't put it out (tough love, i.e. boundaries) because it doesn't allow them to change. And if the fire doesn't get hot enough, throw more wood on. We can love by: Doing nothing (don't bite - easier said than done), saying NO, shutting up - the least effective way to change an addict is to talk, and by creating consequences / boundaries. If you believe that tough love (referred to by the teacher as the Sword of Justice) won't work it's because 1) You lack faith in God, you don't believe God can move heaven and earth to help the addict and/or 2) You lack faith in the sinner (addict) -- you don't think they are competent so you don't give them tough love.

    Self-worth is the breast plate. The breast plate protects your vital organs. If you have low self-worth, it means you can't love God or love others. For co-dependents it is important that you believe it is okay to focus on yourself -- it will prevent you from losing your identity. Self-love comes inherently from your relationship with God. Marvin J. Ashton said, 'As you find yourself, you will find God.'"

    Just some notes, but maybe you or someone can take away one or two things.