Trigger Warning

TRIGGER WARNING: Many of my posts contain triggers as I fearlessly inventory my emotions.
Some of these are brutally honest as I veer from negative to positive.

Monday, February 12, 2018


June 2016 I gave up romance novels.

I wrote a post about it sharing how I was inspired to "bury" my habit by the anti-Nephi-Lehies who buried their weapons of war.

Well I haven't read one since.

Oh there have been times I have wanted to.   It was pretty easy to resist though with a simple NO. Lately the urge has been strong.

This means I am feeling the need to medicate something painful.

So I had better figure out what it is, face it, and work through it. Because digging that habit up again would make an awful mess.

Friday, February 2, 2018


I just love it when H-er’s lovers feel the need to message me.


He was seeing two women at once and lying to each of them about it.  They found out about each other.  They started talking.  They decided I needed to know about this even though it all happened after our divorce.

Normally I would just ignore it (while shuddering and thinking “I’m just glad it’s not happening to me anymore”).  But they felt the need to tell me all of the things H-er said about me to them.  I don’t know if they are hoping I will join their anger party or if they just want to make me feel bad because it will somehow make them feel better.  Maybe they think I will lash out at H-er and make him miserable so they get to make him miserable vicariously?

But part of their messages included telling me that they knew "all my dirty little secrets".

He went all the way back to 1998 with a little story (and added a twist so that I look horribly evil).

Or about how I was fired from my job at the bank because I stole from them.  Except I didn’t.  It’s a nice spin on the time that I forgot to hit “enter” on a deposit and then at the end of the day when I counted my drawer we spent forever trying to find out where the extra money was supposed to go.

Or the blatant lie:  “you were unwilling to make any accommodations for marriage therapy – just flat out said No, I won’t do it.”  Man, I wish I had all that money back.  Except not really, because I got a lot out of those sessions.

There’s more though.  About my parenting decisions, behavior during the divorce, and that I forced him to do things to assuage my guilt.  I’m not perfect.  There are enough grains of truth in it that it stings a little. The truths are all twisted in just such a way though that I’m feeling quite slandered.

Slander synonyms:

defame (someone's character), blacken someone's name, tell lies about, speak ill/evil of, sully someone's reputation, libelsmearcast aspersions on, spread scandal about, besmirchtarnishtaint

Yeah, that’s how I feel.  And it’s okay.  I don’t have to lash out at anyone in anger to protect myself.  I’ll survive it.  

Tuesday, January 30, 2018



My son started the following conversation in the car this last week:
“Who is the best rapper ever?”
None of us actually really care for rap so it was kind of a benign question.  Or so I thought.

Eminem was discussed. 

Yes.  I personally think he is pretty talented.  He makes words rhyme that shouldn’t rhyme.  And some of his stuff is pretty catchy.  But his lyrics are awful.  And the way he portrays women – particularly his ex wife and his mother are pretty horrible as well.  I mentioned this and of course my son wanted examples because his only exposure is “mom’s spaghetti” which has made the rounds as a meme.  (from Lose Yourself – which is actually a pretty tame song for him all things considered especially if you are listening to the radio edit).  So I needed him to understand that talent doesn’t excuse objectification of women.

There were two songs that I googled the lyrics to and had him review.  One was about his ex-wife and details how he and his daughter are in a car driving to dispose of her body after he killed her.  The other was a collaboration with another artist about their visits to strip clubs where they egg the women on.  (a truly disgusting song).   

I failed.  He made comments like: why is Eminem at fault when the strippers are the one’s doing it for money? It’s not like they are forced to be strippers.  They should just get a different job.  They are just doing their job.

It was a total failure and it ended with me in my room crying because I remembered when my husband used to tell me I had to have sex with him.  “Just do your job you ***** ****” he would say.


And my son is still clueless about the objectification of women in music.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


I STILL HAVE MY SENSE OF HUMOR (because apparently I can actually laugh at this—in a dark way).

Also I am very susceptible to emotional manipulation.

So you know how folktales, fables, and fairy tales were used to pass on moral lessons to children?  Well here is my story to tell your kids at bedtime to “scare” them.

I started dating someone who was very nice and was in many ways different than my first husband in the way he treated me.  It was nice to be desired and admired and treated well.  It was nice having someone fix things at my house, buy me presents, compliment me, help me do dishes, bring me dinner, and treat my kids well.  Basically he made me feel safe.   I went to the temple and felt like I had been put in this man’s path for a reason – specifically to help him. So I accepted his offer of marriage.  Because he didn’t live in the same state he was spending a lot of time traveling to visit me.  He began to push for a quick marriage.  And so the conflict began.

Here’s just a short list of boundaries that I didn’t keep:

He brought a cat with him on one of his visits.   He left it at my house. (He dropped it off on his way out of town while I was at work so it was waiting for me when I got home).  He wasn’t going straight home and couldn’t take the cat with him where he was going without endangering it (leaving it in the heat of the car for long hours at a time).

He had some paperwork that he needed to go through so he could submit a claim to the military for some benefits he felt he’d been denied.  He asked for my help because it was overwhelming for him.  He said he had some boxes that needed to be sorted so he could get the important documents out.  Every time he tried, he would suffer from PTSD and shut down.  So I said of course I’d help sort paperwork.

He showed up with 17 boxes of paper.  He left the boxes in my garage – unsorted because frankly 17 boxes was a little overwhelming for me too.

He had hurt his back prior to meeting me and it required surgery to remove a piece of bone that was pushing against his spinal cord.  After a hospital stay the VA finally saw him but said they couldn’t do anything for six months.  So he came to see a specialist here and suggested we get married because my insurance would cover it and he wouldn’t have to wait.  He was very concerned that he might be paralyzed if the bone severed his spinal cord.  I felt quite a bit of guilt as he cried about how he was afraid of being paralyzed and how I could save him if only I would marry him.    I managed to come up with another solution which meant we didn’t have to get married so abruptly.  He began to say things like “if you don’t want me…” and I would promptly assure him that I did.

He had a fire up at his property.   He lost a lot of things.  His place was not going to be habitable for the upcoming winter.  He planned to store some things at his son’s here where I live but the son didn’t have room.  So guess where it ended up.  My garage.   Except for the 2nd cat.  That one was now in my house too.

His Bishop and another member of his ward told me that he would come back from seeing me a changed man and how much better he was doing since he met me.  And of course there were more resources for his PTSD and health here with a large VA than in his rural town.

After Thanksgiving, he fled his home because of the weather.  He showed up with a third cat and nowhere to live.  So he was on my couch for the time being and I was hoping no one would notice that I had a man living with me that I wasn’t legally married to.

Eventually he began to say things like:  “If I’m not married by my birthday I’ll just go back to my place and stay until I die.  No one wants me and I’m useless anyway.”


Well here I was, with most of his possessions in my garage, three cats, and a homeless VET sleeping on my couch.  Ever heard of FOG?  The three parts of emotional blackmail?  

Fear:  Basically I’m living with a man out of wedlock so I was feeling a little fear about what the church would have to say about that.  Plus I hate conflict.  So there was the fear of conflict if I told him to take his stuff and go.  What if he refused to go? 

Obligation: I’d made promises to him.  That I wouldn’t abandon him because he suffered from depression and PTSD (as his first wife had abandoned him).  And I was supposed to help him.  I’d gotten that impression remember?

Guilt:  He was going to die if I broke it off with him.  

So I grudgingly married him – on the last possible day before his birthday, at the courthouse, with the minimum witnesses, and no fanfare.   And ten minutes later when he handed me his phone to look at our wedding pictures I found porn.   And I wasn’t even looking.

When I immediately told him that it was over there was so much snot and tears and wailing and finally a call from his Bishop asking if I could possibly let him stay until the weather changed because his house out in the country had no water or electricity and was exposed to the elements and if he came back HE WOULD DIE.

Long story short:  I let him stay because I wasn’t so heartless that I could send someone away to die.  But I started saying things like “If you feel like you need to take your life please call someone.  I can call a suicide hotline for you if you would like.”  And every time he said “I’m sorry I ruined your life”  I answered “apology accepted”.  And when he would banish himself to the garage to sleep on the couch and text me “I’ll just leave you alone since I can’t do anything right” I would text back “ok” and just go to bed.  And I got him to a doctor.  And his back is fixed.  And he found a job.   Sadly, I didn’t have to marry him to get him to do all that. I could have done that as a friend.  You know…one with boundaries…

Eventually I did send him away – better than when I found him at least.  And it was painful for everyone.  And I accept responsibility because I had no business dating anyone so soon after my first marriage ended.  And good heavens I need figure out how to say no.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


I want to share what I’ve learned about human touch.  It can be safe or unsafe.  And that has consequences.  It wasn’t until recently that I realized what some of them were.

I remember the first time I was ever hit by someone I loved. 

One moment I was sitting there on a chair and the next thing I was aware of I was looking down at the floor.  You would expect that I’d be thinking about pain or wondering how I’d gotten there or if there was another blow coming.  But no.  The first thought that went through my mind was “Don’t get blood on the carpet.”  And I picked myself up, cupped my nose, and ran to the bathroom sink. 

Over time as the verbal, physical, and sexual abuse increased I began to guard against human touch.  I didn’t realize how guarded I was until I walked into Sunday School one Sabbath Day and chose to sit next to a sister that I visit taught.  At one point I leaned forward and rested my elbows on my knees and cupped my chin.  For whatever reason, this sister began to scratch my back and just like that I began to sob. 

The genuine warm touch of another with no sexual expectations or intent to harm was almost too much to bear for me. 

Still later I realized that the problem with withdrawing from human touch because it is unsafe is that it doesn’t discriminate.  This means withdrawal from even safe touch….as in I didn’t hug my children. 

I didn’t even recognize that I had withdrawn physically from my children.  Not until my divorce which gave me freedom from this shell of withdrawal.  Not only did I not have to fear and guard against touch (especially his), I didn’t have to feel guilt for denying him.  And I realized I craved touch. 

I also realized that my children must be starved for safe touch.  Suddenly I wanted to hug my children. Of course I was afraid that they were too old and would reject it – teenage boys after all.  But it warmed my heart when they accepted my hugs with open arms.

Monday, January 16, 2017


“I wish there was a flashing neon sign with the answer!”.

I used to say this all the time about answers to prayers.  I felt like my answers were always so subtle and hard to hear and I just could never have confidence that I received answers. 

Friday I was feeling pretty low.  As I journaled I wrote that I wanted to ask to be released from my calling (I have been struggling about what I will teach at the beginning of February in Relief Society).  I just was not feeling up to the task of standing in front of the Relief Society and assuring them of anything since I was hurting and doubting so much.   Let me quote from what I wrote:

I’m supposed to stand in front of them and say “God is at the helm.  Everything has a purpose and works for our good.  Blah blah blah”… I’d rather sit in the back and be silent. I can’t testify of hope.  Not with any sincerity.

I actually use quotations in my journaling.  It’s a quirk of mine.

About two hours after writing that  I received a text from one of our teachers asking if I could fill in for her this Sunday as she was not feeling well.  I said yes and figured I’d better do an initial quick read through of the lesson so it would be in the back of my mind until I had time to really prepare.  So I’m reading along in Chapter 2 of the Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley and come to this paragraph:

We have nothing to fear.  God is at the helm.  He will overrule for the good of his work…Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt.

Flashing neon sign anyone?

Of course I shared this story in Relief Society on Sunday and immediately after I used a magnet to put the words “God is at the helm!” up on the chalkboard.  Even if no one else was supposed to hear it, I was.


Friday, January 13, 2017


Warning:  This post talks about physical abuse and may be a trigger

Sometimes I just want to give up.
An Heritage #2 texted me over the holidays while he was with his dad. 

“I need help”

“With what?”
“this stupid addiction”

"What addiction is that?”

“pornography, it’s like every couple of weeks.  It didn’t worry me until I realized I couldn’t let it go.  I would go for like a month but it kept coming back.  I hate it and I thought I could get rid of it myself but I can’t and I need help and I’ve always been too scared to tell anyone”. 

And later in our conversation:
“I was so scared I would have it until I was married and would ruin my relationship and I would never be worthy of a mission.  Can I still go on a mission?”

This conversation covers so many of Satan’s lies:
It’s not that often so don’t worry
You can stop anytime
You can do it by yourself
Be very afraid
You are alone
It’s too late
I also noticed something with both of my sons.  They both assumed they had an addiction AND their experience with addiction has been the extreme version of their father’s.  As I was talking with him via text I recalled Elder Oak’s talk Recovering from the Trap of Pornography and felt impressed that I needed to cover it with my boys.

So this last family home evening we took turns reading from it and applying it to themselves.  I hope they came away with the understanding that they are not at the level where it is an “irresistible compulsion” that “takes priority over almost everything else in life”.   That they have not in fact lost agency or the capacity to recover and repent.

And we are going to do some journaling.  They don’t have to share it with me.  I want them to write about what has led up to their viewing of pornography.  I want them to consider the emotions, location, time, and what was happening around them.  Were they curious, sad, lonely, hurt, bored, hungry, tired, up past bedtime, was it the weekend, did they just have a fight with someone, etc.  Are there any patterns?  Because once they have identified these patterns and triggers, then they can-with the help of the Lord-realize his promise in Ether 12:27 “then I will make weak things become strong unto them”.

So that’s the goal. 

Is that why I want to give up? 


It’s that PLUS the fact that my daughter is in an abusive relationship.  She texted me on New Years Eve and I was horrified as she detailed how he punched her and another time he told her he was going to kill her and yet another time he put a pillow over her face and tried to suffocate her.  And then she told me that it was her fault because she had pushed him to it because she was so mean and demanding.  That she has been praying that it will work out because she just knows she is supposed to be with him because he loves her and only wants to do good things in the world with his hands.  (I feel like vomiting as I type this) And though they are officially “broken up now” apparently she spends time with him still because yesterday she said she needed to talk to me but was afraid and then finally said he had been driving her car and was punching her at the same time so that she opened the door and jumped out of the moving car.  Then later still she minimized it while I stared at the bruises and the huge welt underneath them causing her skin to bulge.   But apparently I handled it well (didn’t freak out) so she decided to show me the tattoo she got as well. 

Is that why I want to give up?

Well we’re getting closer.

Because on top of that, the guy that I’ve been seeing, who is supportive and treats me well and wonderful and that all signs were pointing to – including in the temple – apparently he has gender identity issues.  And that’s the white-washed, shortened, tacked on as an afterthought version. 

So it’s all of that.  Like I was in an abusive adulterous relationship for 20 years and finally was given the green light to leave for better things and I’m like ???????

Somewhere, someone is laughing.