Monday, January 24, 2011

Me and Little T - at the Nutcracker this past December 2010.

(My sister in the blue shirt - me in the brown, holding my oldest nephew - this was April 2009)

For any of you who have ever attended any sort of 12-step recovery type of class, meeting, workshop, seminar or has lived with someone who has, you may have heard some of the following statements:
  • Easy Does it
  • Live Life on LIFE'S terms
  • One day at a time, sometimes one hour, sometimes one minute
  • If you're in a funk - go be of service to someone else
  • We will make it through this day
  • etc...

Well, there is a philosphy within a 12 step process (step 4) which involves "admitting" our faults to another person. It's this process of "coming clean." There are three great benefits to admiting our faults to another -

1.) Our secrets have kepts us in chains - bound, frozen, unable to move forward in any of our relationships - be it with our higher power or with others. Admitting our faults SNAPS those chains and in doing so, healing power begins to be released.

2.) When we keep silent about these "faults" - whether you call them sins, unconfessed issues of our past, demons that we fight, old ways we used to be, character defects, imperfections, etc....when we keep them silent, and hide them deep inside - we continue to give them power. In addition, the constant energy and "duty" of keeping them silent or secret has a great affect; a spiritual, mental and physical affect. I believe this to be true. Resentment, unforgiveness, bittnerness...all of these things cooped up deep inside our core being and left unresolved will eventually permeate through us and I believe they begin to seep out somehow...whether in our interactions with others that are negative as we project onto them all the "crap" that resides within us, whether we panic, whether we puke, whether we eat and keep stuffing it all down, whether we live in complete denial, or whether we become physically ill with chronic disease...our soul's inner cry is to release all of this "stuff" and if we don't - well, it can eventually eat us up - from the inside out.

3.) The third benefit is to be truly "known" and to receive support. I believe that deep within all of us is the innate desire to be truly known by be validated for who we are, what we've experienced and what we have to contribute to our world. I also love this comment: "Openness is to wholeness, as secrets are to sickness" I strongly belive in being transparent, real, genuine and in the power of sharing our stories with others.

Although you (my cyber space friend) are not a real, face to face person - I am going to practice principle 4 and admit to you a character defect of mine that I am currently working on as I want to BREAK the chains that seem to still bind me up at times. So, I appreciate all of your support, grace and compassion.

Most all of you know that I have lost about 130 pounds...yet, I find that when I am sad, angry or stressed, I want to eat. Food for so long has been the one comforter I could always count on...the one friend that was always there and we had a secret love affair. Many did not know that I would hide food and eat alone, binge, etc...and then carry the shame that crept in causing me to hide all of the evidence that anything took place at all....and sometimes I think I really believed my own reality. I didn't actually just eat didn't happen at all. You can't prove it.

So, when I began this journey of losing weight in August 2009, I weighed 323 pounds and was a 26/28 in women's and a 46/48 in mens. Now, because I am 5'9" I could carry it better than most so many people had no idea I actually weighed that much. But when I began the journey "to health" it was also a decision to leave behind my best friend - or more so to abandon her for a while and then when ready, redefine the dynamic between us so that we could find a mutually beneficial exchange; fuel, balance, moderation, but still enjoy pleasure, etc...During the beginning of my journey I "white knuckled" it and I had this mantra: "This is my spiritual act of worship." And whenever I really wanted to eat, or just pig out on something, or eat a food my body was no longer willing to tolerate...I would say "this is my spiritual act of worship" AND IT WAS....I wanted to be healthy, to have energy, to give my body back to God and to reclaim the health, balance and moderation that I knew my body needed. I knew it was going to take some just flat out refusal and some hard re-training at times, and believe me those days came.

So, I had to lose 10% of my body weight before surgery; which was 33 pounds. I was able to lose that by February 2010 and then because of surgeon's being booked so far in advance, my surgery was scheduledfor June 9th. And now, almost 7 months out - I can actually say that I am FREE from the bondage that once ruled my life - my love affair with food that was killing me. I ate to stuff the pain, so now I have to feel the pain. I ate in times of stress, so now I have to find other ways of managing my stress (still working on this one), I ate to fill the try and take away the empty, lonely feelings....and even though there was something temporary that I did feel for eating for those reasons, it was like I had band aids all over my entire body when what I really needed to do was to stop covering up the boo-boos and learn to do true wound care so healing could happen and repair could begin.

So, I ADMIT that I used to use and abuse food and use and abuse my body - to numb the feelings that were so painful to feel.....and now I ADMIT that I feel all of those feelings....and sometimes it is so overwhelming, that I don't think I'll make it....but then I remember one of those awesome quotes as mentioned day at a time, we will make it through this day!

Today, I weigh 191 and I am a size 12/14 in womens, 36 in mens - and even though I am just beginning to work on the toning and exersice side of the house....I have energy, I am a new person and I am healing every day. IT IS NOT EASY, but whoever said it would be anyhow?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

That darn straw...

Last night, while driving on the 91 freeway, in rush hour traffic, all of a sudden the car breaks down. The temperature gage has quickly moved itself all the way over to the red zone and smoke is coming from under the hood. Right there, in the middle of rush hour traffic, on the 91 freeway. in the fast lane. So I put on my emergency hazards, and try to start the car again to find some little but of umph to just let me get over to the side shoulder and as it starts and stops, and I have my blinker one will let me over. Everyone is angry and going around me and I have so inconvenienced them that NO ONE is willing to stop for a moment to let me get the car over to the shoulder. And then... that was it. The know the one that finally breaks the camel's back.
Mediation was this week - which did not go well, but yet went as expected. Nothing has changed and everything will be decided by a judge in court on 1/31. I guess there is some tiny bit of comfort in the fact that I can predict that she will continue to lie, deceive and present her own version of reality; which couldn't be further from the truth. I can expect this. I can know that this will not change...I feel like that should give me some ounce of feeling settled knowing what I can expect from her.
But it does not.
Every time I feel betrayed. Again.
Every time I feel deceived. Again.
Every time I feel shocked that she is doing all of the things that she is doing....Again.
As I left the court house this past week I was reminded of the last time we were in court. It was the day I was adopting the twins. February 10, 2007. I remember the judge asking her questions such as you agree that this person is to FOREVER be their parent and you understand that no matter what happens with regard to the relationship between the two of you - you will both forever be their parents. I remember him asking me, you understand you are taking responsibility for these children's lives, no matter what and you will always be there and support them, etc... I took this very seriously. I take being a parent very seriously. I take my role in their life, under God, as the most important "position" in my life.
So, that straw - that finally broke the camel's I lie, crying, weeping, writing, being around friends that love me, being with my love (Missy) and being with my little angel face and my bubby boy - and in my "falling apart" I find my true strength in their free, unconditional love and support. And that....that is all that really matters!!!! PERIOD!

So yes, straw .......camel's broke back...........but we'll just get up again and keep on standing in the truth and filled with the love and comfort that our community provides to us. The fight will go on....just some days are battle days, and others are recovery days. Today is a day of recovery - lots of wounds, lots of scars...but I will rise again, out of the ashes, I will rise again.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Tree - Me, I am the Tree

I wrote this poem in January 2010. I had NO idea what was coming - with regards to the fact that in a little over a month I would learn that my spouse at the time was cheating on me with a family friend, that it hadn't been the first time, that she was getting her needs met elsewhere (be them emotional or physical), that I was going to go through a horrific divorce and that my family was going to be dismantled, I would lose over 90% of my friends and basically all that I knew or thought to be true, was not - and that my foundation was very soon going to be completely uprooted. I had no idea of the betrayal and deceit and pain that I was going to experience...but I sat down to write one night, and this is what came out.

This was ONE YEAR AGO exactly.

"The Tree"

The Tree Stood
Strong and Firm
Rooted in Life's lessons and provisions

The Seasons changed
The Storms blew through
but the Tree did not waver

As the leaves fell
the Tree appeared barren and empty
as all outer signs of beauty faded away
But Inside
Rooted deeply, Her strength held firm
Her faith, solid
For as the Tree shed her outer garments
She knew that the cleansing, healing process of transformation
would once again produce the most beautiful fruit
Fruit to be taken and shared, to feed others and to bring strength & provision to them
And so She stood
In perfect peace
Allowing the cycle to strip her of all that was not producing life
Knowing that as She let it all go- the true beauty of all of life's wonder was waiting
to once again revel itself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

God, grant me the serenity, to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. - Amen.

(This is the full, entire serenity prayer - most have only heard the first few lines. I surrender to you Jesus and ask for your arms of grace to hold my children close and for you to continue to give me wisdom in all that lies ahead over the next few weeks.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

my arms
Reaching, Longing, Waiting
You're gone
Available, Encouraged, Baiting
my heart
for how this country is falling apart
The vengeance and justice
People seeking it, oh the lust is
this masked stranger we've invited into our bed
Seducing us, and with each stroke of violence, we're becoming the undead
"she" said re-lock - reload
and now body bags fill the road
How will we find an end to this backwards mentality
That if you don't think like me, you are my enemy

Monday, January 10, 2011


Many of my friends have been asking "where do you get the money to see these different theatre events, etc?" My response is GOLDSTAR tickets, 1/2 price @ Goldstar, and no one lately has even heard of Goldstar. you go. Check out their site. They have half-price tickets and member reviews of concerts, sporting events, theater productions, comedy shows and more. It's TOTALLY worth it.
I'm already a member!"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Friends & Family - Chosen Community

We believe in community - the intentional practice of it. Someone asked me recently "what does that mean?"

Are you talking like living "commune style" and although there are many things about the old fashioned version of commune style living that I think Missy and I would both totally dig....for us, living in community means intentionally building & maintaining relationships and openly sharing your lives with others around you - in your "chosen" community. This could include family members and/or close friends. It means being real - just being - and being together with others to connect, engage, be present, laugh, love, give and receive. It means being with one another & dealing with real life stuff, as it comes up - supporting each other, showing love and kindness to one another, contributing and bringing whatever gifts/talents each has to bless the others.

We know people that truly live in community - aka Gaga's commune (my mom's house - another story for another post) we also have our friends in Iowa from "the blue house."

Living in community is very much to me like the new testament church from the bible. They got together, broke bread, shared stories, blessed one another, they all had a part - contributed, they grew, encouraged each other in their faith, etc.

What Missy and I have realized is that when we leave times of "being in community" with others - we usually feel any or all of the following: inspired, blessed, hopeful, encouraged, full and at peace.

Thank you to all of you (You know who you are) who are part of our intentional community. We love you.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Step by Step - each day brings something new

So today I find out that my ex has gone behind my back and tried to make changes to my daughter's education. As of now, until our court date later this month, we have 50/50 custody and that also applies to educational rights which means that we need to both agree on decisions with regard to our children's education. And let me add the the proposed changes she wanted to make are completely in HER best interest to help accommodate her school schedule. They are NOT what is in the best interest of our daughter.

When will the deceit end? When will the manipulation stop? When will she begin to do what's best for the children? When will justice prevail? When will the righteous be rewarded? When will truth be revealed?


I am trusting in you. There is a lesson here for me - a stretching of my faith...but I really need you to show up and show off on my behalf later this month when we go to court. Please...isn't it time? Please...I don't know how much more I can take...

So....again, I reach the end of myself....and again, I am on my knees. I know this is the plan...if things weren't hard, I wouldn't need you...but please God....I am ready for a little break here....a sabbatical....just a little time to mercies every morning - may I ask for double tomorrow?

Oh and God, can you please heal my little children who came back from MN with bronchitis and who said and I quote "I missed you mommy and I'm so glad to be HOME" (little T) and C said "Missy, I cried for you. I missed you."

They know we are their family....they know this is their home. They also have mama's house - a very different experience for them though...and they know and feel it. They need a healing touch from you God - please bring them peace and let them rest all through the night.

Thank you for Missy who cares so sweetly for them and for GaGa who pours the love out freely. I am grateful and no matter what, I will maintain my peace...I will NOT let her take that away from me anymore. I will remain - present and feeling this, even though painful...I will not let her deplete my spirit. I will rise up in the strength of all the love that surrounds us - Missy, my children, our families, our friends, our fellow warriors along this journey - I will rise up and allow them all to help carry me.

We will make it through this day. One day at a hour at a minute at a time....but we WILL make it through!