According to Webster's Dictionary, the word 'redeem' means "to free from the consequences of sin." Although, it was not my sin, I still desperately need to be freed of the consequences.

"Redeemed women of God have tender merciful hearts, backbones of steel, and hands that are prepared for the fight." - Staci Elderidge

"Even though my heart has been broken at times, I want to retain a tender merciful heart- the kind of heart that is vulnerable, open to all emotions, and engaged in honest, intimate relationships. If my heart is hardened, no matter the cause, I cannot live to my fullest potential.

By setting and holding emotional, physical and spiritual boundaries and standing up with courageous determination to what I know to be right, I continue to forge my backbone of steel.

As women, I believe we want to fight against evil, and we have power greater than we've ever imagined to aid us in that fight."
- Rhyll Croshaw

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Why Won't He Change?

I recently had someone ask me, "Why doesn't he change?  Is he lying when he says he wants to or is he truly incapable?  I don't get it..."

There was a large forest behind the house I grew up in.  It had trees and brush and little ravines.  It had hills and dips and thorns.  We would ride our bikes from one end to the other, up and down the ravines, jumping the cliffs and weaving in and out of the brush.  Over time, our bikes formed paths through the woods.  The frequency of our rides cleared the brush back, smoothed the dirt beneath our wheels and created an open route for us, avoiding the thistles and connecting all of the corners of the woods together.

Our brain is like those woods.  Beginning when we were little kids, paths were formed in our brains, connecting all of the pieces together.  Every time we cried and our mothers and fathers met our needs, chemicals were released that told us that human connection was a way to soothe.  Every good and bad experience released chemicals that connected cause and effect.  As we lived and experienced needs in life, we learned to find ways that could address our needs.  Sometimes these ways were healthy, like love and connection, and sometimes they were unhealthy, like blame and isolation.  Over time the consistent cause and effect of life created the pathways, clearing the brush and thistles back, just like the woods behind my childhood home.  The pathways we chose were a compilation of biological and environmental factors.  Sometimes the unhealthy ways were the result of our emotional needs not being met.  Dr. Sue Johnson said on a Love Rice podcast (found here), "The main survival strategy of our species, the reason we've made it this far, strange little clawless animals that we are; the fragile animals that we are... is to know that we can turn to another person and when we call, they will come.  That is our main survival strategy."  We were also born with personality traits that would encourage or discourage the formation of healthy neural pathways.  It was our personality traits and the environment in which we were raised, that worked together to determine the paths that were created in our brain.  Although, both factors contributed, they are not equal.  A child with multiple personality risk factors could be raised in an extremely loving and healthy family and still develop unhealthy coping mechanisms.

But, the beautiful thing I find about this, is that our brains are muscles.  They can be strengthened and weakened depending on how we use them.  So now, that these unhealthy pathways are formed, we aren't stuck, we can change them.  But, it's hard.  The forest is filled with thick brush,  thistles and briar patches.  In order to create new, healthier pathways, we have to get pricked and scratched and sometimes we even fall down, right in the middle of the briars.  It is painful and hard and it takes time. And no one can do it for us.  The change happens inside our own brains, one choice at a time.  It can't be forced or coerced.  We have to choose it ourselves.  No one but me can forge a path in my brain.

So yes, there is a good chance that he wants to change for the better; we all do.  We all want safety and connection. We all want belonging even though the paths that we sometimes create lead to isolation and push those we love away.  We can see what we really want through the thick brush, but it feels so far away and there are so many obstacles we must overcome to get there.  And even if we forge through and we get pricked and scratched and tangled up, but we make it, that one time, the old path is right next to us.  And it is clear of thorns and bushes.  It looks so much easier.  Less bloody.  Less overwhelming.  Sure it leads to what we don't really want, but we also don't get pricked along the way.  Creating a new pathway is hard.  It is painful.  It is doing all of the things we have spent our lives avoiding.  It is honesty and accountability and facing all of the demons we have worked so hard to hide.  It goes against everything we've built ourselves upon.  But, as we forge ahead consistently, the path becomes clearer.  Easier.  Less obstructed.  And in time, the old path can even become overgrown and filled with thorns.  Maybe it begins to do this about the time your scabs have healed.

I once again live in a home with a forest behind my house.  It has hills and trees and brush.  It isn't as large as the one behind my childhood home (or is it?  time and age have a way of changing our perspective) but it is a forest none the less.  This past summer, my kids wanted to build a dirt bike path.  They wanted to clear a trail through the woods with jumps and turns to ride their bikes on.  My teen went out and plotted the path he wanted to create.  He grabbed some tools and began to work, for a while.  But, then he became lonely and discouraged.  So, he came in and gathered me, his brothers and the neighbors and we all got back to work.  There is now a trail clear from one end of our property to well past the neighbors.  Whereas we can't carve a path in someone else's brain, clearing the path in isolation is usually too painful and complicated, so we give up. Having adequate support, encouragement, accountability, and ideas is critical. That doesn't mean that we have to subject ourselves to abuse and mistreatment, but it does mean that our chances of real change are higher when there are others who offer their support.  I believe that accountability is the first major step.  When you recognize that your actions have lead to consequences that you no longer want to cause and you own that. True change begins when you see the path you have created for what it really is and determine where you actually want to go and you grab your tools and head for the briar patch.

This summer we'd come in at night covered in sweat with sore, achy muscles.  We had scrapes and cuts and blisters.   But, the moment we jumped on our bikes, it was all worth it.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reader Question: Accountability

Question:
I recently discovered my husband's pornography addiction.  I've been married almost 30 years. I'm angry, hurt, hopeless and it doesn't help to hear that our relationship will end up stronger than ever. I've been so upset by the lack of consequences my husband has received from our bishop. It feels like a slap on the wrist just like my teenage son. Don't take the sacrament, or use your recommend and read a book on the Atonement. I want to scream!!! I went and talked with my bishop about it and he said the church handbook doesn't recommend church discipline for this problem. WHY? 

He's doing everything he can to repent and seek help. I'm thankful for that. But I'm struggling to find myself under the huge pile of lies and secrets that have been dumped on me. I'm part of a club of amazing women that just like me don't wan't to be in the club. 

My question for you is this...how can we help the church leaders understand the trauma that pornography causes the betrayed spouse? Spiritual guidance is great but it doesn't validate our broken souls. I want to give my bishop a packet of resources for both spouses. If pornography addiction is considered an infidelity than why is the accountability within the church not matching this offense? And does that perpetuate the problem? I can't be the only one that has these concerns right?!?!

Again, you can't imagine the amount of validation and relief your words have given me today. I am so thankful for you and all the other brave women that have paved the Internet highway of information.


Thank you,
A Friend


Answer:
Oh Friend,
I am so sorry!  I am so sorry that your husband's choices lead you to my blog!  I'm sorry that you've had to become just one more secret member of a club that no one ever wants to be a part of.  I'm sorry that his choices will take your time, resources, energy and trust.  I'm sorry that you can make all of the right choices and still find yourself no better off.  I'm just so sorry.

And unfortunately, I don't have any good answers for you.  I know that the church is slowly changing their tone and acknowledging the trauma.  I know that info is slowly getting down to the bishops, but the church moves very slowly.  And the wives are sometimes the consequence of that.  There is a resource page available to only bishops online.  When they log in, there are like 13 questions to ask the addict and a list of questions to ask the spouse.  I showed them to my bishop 18 months after they were released.  He had never even heard of them and this was a few years ago.  I have personally corresponded with a member of the quorum of the 12 and described the gravity of the situation.  I know of other women who have personally met with members of the General Relief Society board within the last 6 months.  I know that the church is in the process of filming new videos, based on real stories of trauma and addiction.  They are hoping to release these after the first of the year.  I believe our leaders in Salt Lake are aware.  I believe they hear us.  But, the local leadership is made of accountants and lawyers and computer software techs.  They rotate out every five years, and they just do not have the training and life skills to handle such issues and recognize the trauma the women receive.  Studies show that 70% of women whose husband's have porn addictions experience betrayal trauma and 70% of men in the church have "porn issues".  The odds aren't in our favor.  And our chances of getting a bishop who is a CSAT therapist trained in betrayal trauma is slim to nil.  And sometimes the bishops themselves are really struggling and praying for their own mercy.  I do not believe that the men are being fully held accountable within the church.  I also believe that accountability from leadership would be hugely validating to the spouse, who has often been blamed and gaslighted for years.  When my husband was honest about the choices he'd made, no one stepped forward to hold him accountable.  Not my bishop or my dad or anyone else.  That was really hard for me.  I felt alone and at fault for his choices.  But in time I have realized that the promises and covenants my husband broke were ones he made with me and my Father in Heaven.  Not my bishop.  Or anyone else.  I realized that I could hold him accountable, I didn't need another man, or woman, to and more importantly, he needed to hold himself accountable.  The way wives in trauma are often treated actually lead me to redefine my faith, as it has for many of my wopa friends.  I do not count on my bishop to fully hold my husband accountable.  But, I also don't believe it is his job.  My bishop is a witness or a guide, but my husband is his own judge.  Only he can decide his fate in the kingdom of God, just as only I can decide mine.  Our Heavenly Father does not refuse us, we refuse Him due to our own discomfort.  It is up to each of us to decide whether we are comfortable in the light of our Father in Heaven. My husband's personal accountability is actually what keeps me safe, not my bishop's.  I no longer look at my bishop as a counselor or go to him for temporal guidance.  He's a business man and I think that giving him the burden of solving my personal life issues is unfair to him.  He is the director of our ward and he is inspired to guide us and lead us as a ward, but my personal inspiration and guidance comes straight to me from my Father above.  There is no voice more pertinent or powerful to me than the whisperings of my own soul.  

I believe that our Father is greatly displeased with the treatment of His daughters.  I believe He hears us.  I believe He sends us to the people who can validate our pain and help us heal and find our sure footing.  I believe that we are all, men and women, saint and sinner, given a wide berth to navigate this messy world and we don't have to figure it all out today.  I also believe that there are huge differences between doctrine, policy and culture within the church and they too often get mixed up and intermingled and most of my pain comes from that.  I believe in the basic fundamentals of the gospel.  I believe that policy is enacted for the preservation and simplistic structure of the church.  And I believe that culture is the lay interpretation of both and is mixed with the philosophies of men and is often hurtful and harmful.  And I speak out against it more often than I follow it.  Separating these things saved my testimony.  

And whereas I believe that it is good for us to share resources and support with our bishops, stake presidents and relief society presidents, doing so really got me no where and caused me to have more distrust in my local leadership.  So, I let them be just as humanly flawed as I am and I listen for Him to give me my next step.  There are countless resource packages that have been created to share with bishops and many of them have been well received and changed countless wopa lives and families, but I've never had that privilege.  It's not that my bishop wasn't willing to listen, I just don't think he ever really got it.  It didn't fall of deaf ears, he sympathized even, he just didn't know what to do with it, or me.  If my Heavenly Father needs me to be there for one of His daughters, He will connect us.  

At the end of the day, I believe that what we are really suffering from is the instability brought by broken trust.  He looked at porn, he saw naked women.  That sucks.  But what really shattered my world is the secret life that he was living that I was unaware of.  I was living my life as if it was one way when it was something else entirely.  My bishop can't fix that.  Only my husband can.  I wanted my bishop to hold my husband fully accountable so that my husband would do all he could to rebuild that broken trust.  But, really, the one person who really needed to get that, was my husband.  The church couldn't save us, my husband had to save us. Brene Brown gives a trust analogy using a marble jar.  Every relationship we have creates a marble jar.  Every action and experience with that person either adds marbles to the jar or takes marbles out.  The more marbles, the safer the relationship.  You didn't realize that your husband was secretly removing marbles from the jar until the day that you caught him and the facade of what was happening cracked the entire jar.  Your husband just picked up your marble jar and smashed it to the ground.  It is a sick double standard, but there is nothing that your bishop can do to repair that jar.  I've come to believe that True Justice comes in the next life, not this one.  Right now is the time for your husband to rebuild the jar and slowly start adding marbles to it.  Some days he'll add 10, some days one.  Some days he'll remove 5.  The difference is, now you are watching, now you see.  I think your only job is to watch him and see what he does.  I hated it when people said that our relationship would be better than ever because just because it happened for them, it didn't make it a sure thing for me.  My husband had smashed the jar.  He had lied about the jar.  He had hidden what he'd really been doing and that jar could only be repaired if HE chose to repair.  Sure, your relationship could be better than ever, but only if he chooses to rebuild that jar, and it will take a long time.  In the meantime, you are hurting today.  You don't trust him today.  Today, you are navigating marbles and broken glass.  I'm so sorry.  

You have every right to hold your husband accountable.  You.  The promises he broke are the ones he made to you.  Not to your bishop.  You don't need him for your husband to get with the program.  You just need to know that you are worth more than you've been treated and you need to live your live accordingly.  You are amazing.  You are beloved.  You are a cherished daughter of God.  You are seen.  You are heard.  You are loved.

Thank you so much for reaching out to me.  I'm so sorry I don't have the answers you are looking for.  They caused me many sleepless nights and days on the bathroom floor.  I wish I could give you more.  I wish I could wrap my arms around you and stand beside you at this time.  

With love,

Shay

Monday, December 19, 2016

Why I Stayed

A while back, I had one of Paul’s recovery friends ask me why I’d stayed.  This guy’s wife had divorced him and he struggled for a long time with why.  Almost without even thinking I blurted out, "because he did everything I asked him to do."  I've been thinking about that answer ever since, it kind of sounds like I gave Paul a list of "do's" and "don'ts" and he complied.  But, that isn't what happened at all.  I actually never told him specifically what he needed to do.  I never gave him anything close to a list.  What I asked was that he be willing to do anything that it took recover, heal, and repair the damage he caused.  Anything and everything, even if it was painful and uncomfortable.  I never asked him to do what I wanted him to do, I asked him to do everything that he could and needed to do.  

A couple of weeks after D-day, upon returning from a meeting with the bishop, Paul told me that he wouldn’t be going to 12 step meetings.  At their meeting, our bishop had said to him, "I don't think you need the 12 step meetings" and this advice was all Paul needed to rule them out.  I can still remember the moment like it was yesterday.  I was sitting on the family room floor folding laundry and we were alone.  The children were all already asleep.  It was eerily quiet as I looked up at him from the floor and took a deep breath to say, "I don't feel like you are in a position to decide what you think you should do.  I think you should hit your knees and do what HE tells you to do.  And whatever it is, I suggest you do it."  And that's about how it went.  I didn't care what his path looked like as long as it was working.  After I said that on that day, that's what he did.  He figured out what he needed to do, instead of what he wanted to do, and he did it.

That's why I stayed- but honestly for a long time, a good year and a half, I wasn't sure that I was going to.  I stood back and watched for a long time.

If you are in the place where you are deciding whether to stay or whether to go, know that whatever you decide to do, will be the right thing for you.  In the meantime, know that you are amazing.  You are worthy of love and connection and you always have been and always will be absolutely enough.  

I am worthy of a life with an honest husband who honors his vows and can see not only his worth but mine as well.  He is worthy of an honest wife who consistently honors her vows and sees not only his worth, but hers as well.  I could not and did not make this happen.  All I could do is decide what I was okay with and what I wasn’t and live my life according to those values.  I can’t change him but I can change how I respond to him.  One of my all time favorite quotes is from Paul Parkins- "You can't change others, you can only change yourself, but by changing yourself, you invite change in others."  

Only you can decide what you need to do going forward and whether it is worth it to stand back and watch and see or whether it is time to cut your losses.  I watched and waited and it was absolutely the right choice.  My life today with my husband is amazing and I wouldn't take back a single day of the pain to have the life I have now.  But, I have friends who have made other choices and those were right for them.  Calm your heart, calm your soul and you will know what needs to be done when the time is right.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Three Important Steps...

The following post was written by Danielle Adams, who works with Lifestar Therapy.  Although the majority of my posts are directed to wopas, I do occasionally have those struggling with addiction reading as well.  The following post offers steps and hope to those who want to break the chains of addiction...



3 Important Steps to Porn Addiction Recovery-
Are you struggling with the compulsion to watch porn and the negative
effects that comes from it? Don’t worry, there’s hope. When it comes to
down to breaking porn, there are some important steps to take to start
your healing today.

To get you started, begin with these three steps:

1.  Admit You Have a Problem

The first step in porn addiction recovery is to admit to yourself that you
have a serious problem and it’s having a negative effect not only on your
life, but on your loved ones too. Not sure you have a problem? Here are
some signs to pay attention to:

You spend excessive time online and are irritable or defensive when you’re
not left alone with your computer or mobile device.

You have become secretive and always clear your browsing history.

Your sexual tastes have changed. This could mean you are no longer aroused
by your partner, are more “demanding” during sex, or your actions have
become belittling to or critical of your partner.

You prefer the “safe” fantasy rather than the “risk” of true intimacy.

If you recognize any of these symptoms of porn addiction, the next thing
you need to do is talk to someone about your struggles. Whether it be your
spouse, spiritual leader, therapist, or support group, find someone you
trust and who you can talk openly with to help you decide how to best move
forward and heal from your addiction.

2. Identify Your Triggers

A porn addiction trigger can be any external event or internal emotion
that creates a strong desire to watch pornography. Many different types of
triggers exist, including:

Hanging around individuals who initiate or encourage porn use

The feeling of entitlement or celebration

Loneliness, boredom, and fatigue

Stress and anxiety

Anger and frustration

Once the trigger has been set off, you might find yourself distancing
yourself from others, thinking about or dwelling on porn, or find yourself
sitting alone with your computer or mobile device. As these chain of
reactions are put into motion, the harder it is to resist the urge to
watch porn.

The more you understand your triggers and how you cope with them will give
you better you’ll be able to deal with them before they lead you back down
the path you don’t want to go. With the help of a therapist, support
group, spiritual leader, or trusted friend, you can decide what your best
course of action when dealing with your triggers and holding yourself
accountable to your spouse and recovery.

3. Make a Plan

Once you’ve decided to quit your porn addiction, take some time to make a
commitment to yourself and family. This is also a good time to create a
Plan of Action for yourself. Use this time to build new habits and
interests to replace the more destructive ones. Set specific goals for
things you want to achieve, do volunteer work or serve others, get out in
nature, become more socially active with loving friends and family, and
continue attending therapy or meeting with your support group.

As you move forward, remember, you are more than your addiction. Even if
you take a step backward on your path to recovery, try again and again to
make more steps forward. Don’t get discouraged, talk to someone in your
support network, and be patient with yourself. It takes time to heal, but
it is possible. Each day recommit to yourself and your family that you
will beat this addiction.

About the Author: Danielle Adams is a freelance writer who works with
Lifestar Therapy. She is committed to helping people practice open
communication and build healthy relationships.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Relapses in Recovery

I recently had a woman ask me how I handled relapses in recovery.  The short answer is- I didn't.  To my knowledge, Paul has not relapsed by looking at porn (or masturbating) since he confessed to me last D-day.  (Jan. 2, 2013) 

I used to ask myself that question all the time.  What would I do?  What would I say?  What would happen next?  But to date, it hasn't happened.  And honestly, I really don't think about it much anymore because two of the main things that recovery has taught me is that 1. I will always find out.  Some how, some way, eventually, I will find out and 2. When the time is right, I will know what to do.  I trust myself enough to know what I need to do, when I need to do it.  I don't need a pre-organized plan.  I am confident and capable in my abilities to find the support that I need and make the decisions that need to be made.  

A relapse today would be grossly inconsistent with daily behaviors so it would mean something different than it would have 3 years ago and I can't predict all of the ways that it would cause me to feel- so I'll cross that bridge if I ever get there...

In many ways, I feel like the concept itself, "relapses in recovery" is an oxymoron.  I don't believe there are relapses "in recovery".  The concept is contradictory to what my idea of recovery is.  Almost like saying someone could have a little bit of cancer while in remission.  It just isn't possible.  I believe that saying someone is "in recovery" is just a fancy way of saying "healthy living".  It takes years and years of actively and earnestly seeking recovery (actively working on my stuff with the goal of dealing with my life and emotions in a healthy way so I didn't need to act out in order to self sooth) before one reaches a place where they live in recovery.  Or more simply stated, it takes years and years of learning and practicing new ideas and tools about how to live a healthy lifestyle before one can consistently and naturally use those tools and ideas as the new normal of their life.  During that time of intense learning, there may be relapses (but there doesn't necessarily have to be, we are capable of learning from ways other than from our mistakes...)  

I believe that fundamentally living in recovery, or living healthy means that I accept that I am flawed and have things to work on but I also can recognize my immeasurable worth. My actions and behaviors are consistent with someone who believes "I am worthy of love and connection and I am willing and eager to work on my flaws." I have a hard time believing that someone who is acting out (especially on a regular, cyclic basis) fundamentally believes that. When someone believes they have self worth and they are willing to identify and work on their flaws, this belief is portrayed in their actions, choices and behaviors.  This doesn't mean that they don't make mistakes.  It doesn't mean that they don't have hard times or bad days.  It means that they are able to more consistently feel, identify and deal with their emotions long before it reaches the point that they feel the need to act out.  Patterns show me a lot; in many ways, patterns are a gift to me to determine safety and predictability in my life and a pattern of habitual acting out doesn't feel safe or healthy to me.  But, I also don't believe living in recovery is a destination.  It's not like you've arrived at the end of the road and from that point on it's all roses and chocolate.  Just because I believe in my worth and live my life in a way that is consistent with that today doesn't mean that I can't be thrown off course. When someone becomes ensnared in addiction, unhealthy neuropathways are formed in the brain.  Recovery is the process of building new, healthier neuropathways and learning how to consistently use those pathways.  But, the old, unhealthy ones still remain.  So when we slack off, get lazy or are thrown by difficult life events, it is really easy to revert back to the well groomed paths of the old, unhealthy pathways.  An addict who has been sober and even living in recovery for years can begin to use those old pathways.  They could have a quick slip or even find themselves in unhealthy cyclic behaviors.  In that case, I believe they may have been in recovery but when they begin to use those pathways, they get thrown off course and they are no longer living in a healthy way or "in recovery". Just like eating healthy or exercising or any of the number of things we can do to be healthy, recovery is a lifestyle that we can choose to live or not, it isn't necessarily a place we arrive at. 

In my opinion, real recovery (healthy living) does not include relapses, but it takes years to to establish those healthy patterns.  It takes years to learn how to automatically use those new, healthy neuropathways that we have worked so hard to form and practiced using so consistently.  And the longer the old pathways are ignored and abandoned, the more aged and old and shriveled they become....

Recovery has brought me so many beautiful and amazing things...
It rekindled my self worth.  It brought me ownership and autonomy over my body.  It helped me to learn how to be slow to respond and quick to work on my own issues.  It helps me realize that there is more that I don't know that there is that I do know, and the idea brings me peace... and excitement.  It has helped me be a calm and more patient mother, wife, daughter and friend.  Recovery has given me a calm and patient husband.  One that only needs to hear "that causes me discomfort" or "I'm not ok with that" and he will stop and listen and is willing to learn.  A husband that is aware of what he is feeling and willing to be curious about why and look at the larger picture before he decides and responds.  It has brought flexibility and fluidity as well as predictability and safety to my life.

We aren't always perfect but we are always trying.  We are doing the very best we can with the tools we have and we are constantly seeking more tools, light and understanding.  Recovery is the state of constantly living in humble learning while knowing that I am worthy of all the I have and all that I will be given.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Year I Forgot About D-Day

Do you remember that year that I totally forgot about the D-day anniversary?  It was the first year since D-day that January 2nd came and went like any other day.  It was the year that I ended up in the ER 3 days after Christmas suspected of appendicitis, which actually turned out to be a stomach bug.  It was the year my 14 year old pulled his first all nighter with his friends and played video games for almost 12 hours straight to celebrate the New Year.  He was so proud of himself.  It was the year that Christmas was magical as we skied and played and relaxed through the holiday season.  Even Paul.  Even Paul was able to sit and relax and just enjoy 'being'.  He didn't have to be 'doing' or 'going' as if he was trying to avoid himself in order to enjoy his time.  We just were, together, and it was amazing and fun.  It was the year with freezing nights in the hot tub staring at the stars and marathons of "Fixer Upper" (best show ever!)  It was the year of petting dolphins and swimming pools without triggers and when church became enjoyable again.  It was the year we could vacation together without fighting or do a home improvement project together without someone quitting.

It was the year that I realized I liked Paul again.

It was the year that Paul sat me down on the first Sunday of the month, and like he always did, reported on his recovery, but then said, "And isn't is also D-day?" and I had to really think about it.  It was the year that I realized that D-day came and went and for the first time in years ceased to be an event by which time was calculated.  It stopped being D-day and just became January 2nd.

Do you remember that year?  That was a good year.

I wish I could go back to myself on January 5th, 2013, while I cried on my bathroom floor and thought about driving into a ditch and let myself know that it would indeed get better.  It would take time and many days would be hellish and lonely, but it would get better and it would become exponentially better than it was before.  If I knew that then, I bet I wouldn't have looked so longingly at that ditch.


It will get better.  It will take time and some days will feel hellish and lonely and your "better" may not look like mine.  But, you and happiness will find its way back to each other.  Just keep doing the next right thing and know that you are enough and you are not alone.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Power of You Retreat

Are you trapped in your trauma?

Do you feel afraid, broken, alone?

Are you simply devasted from a sexual betrayal?


Come and spend a weekend with other women who get it. Learn about using art, journaling and music as therapy.  Find out how essential oils can be healing.  Break plates and glue it back together with the ancient art of Kintsugi.  Meditate and do yoga. Laugh, learn and heal together. Make new friends and form un-breakable bonds. 

This is hard stuff. It's confusing and heavy and sometimes feels never ending. 

There is no reason to do it alone. 

For questions or for more information on how to reserve your spot, email me at awiferedeemed@gmail.com