21
Jul

betrayal trauma

Severe Betrayal Trauma. I first heard this term on Studio 5 and listened to the segment, not once, but twice. The guest spoke of ‘Betrayal Recovery,’ and I listened to him describe my life on public TV. I involuntarily glanced around my empty living room to see if anyone noticed he was talking about me.

I remember my friend, Jim, telling us at lunch one day at work, years ago, about a man who had a serious speech impediment. “He married the ugliest woman he could find, because he knew she would never step out on him.” As life goes . . . she did. She had an affair and they ended up getting divorced. At the time I thought it was one of the funniest stories I had heard in a while. We laughed out loud as Jim acted out the parts and talked as though he was his friend, speech impediment and all. He acted all indignant about the betrayal.

I also remember thinking, you know what, it’s one of the reasons I married Leonard. His mother assured me over and over that he would never step out on me. “We just don’t do that sort of thing,” she said. I remember thinking, he is so much better off with me, with us, . . . he should only be grateful that he’s not in jail or on the street.

Now who’s the laughing stock? Don’t get me wrong. I am relieved to be getting divorced. I’m relieved I don’t have to inhale his crappy smoke and listen to all his moaning and excuses and ridiculous rationalizing. I’m relieved I don’t have to sleep with one eye open in case he leaves something in a 400º oven. Or watch his downward spiral as he attempts to navigate a drug-induced life. I’m so glad I no longer have to witness insanity escalate.

And yet, there is, seriously, some humiliation. I’m embarrassed that I stayed with him so long. I’m embarrassed that the hundreds of red flags went unheeded. I’m embarrassed that I actually thought I could live my life and do the things important to me — things I love — and he could do his thing and we could cohabitate.

Was I ever wrong.

Now that I think about it . . . I don’t mind being wrong. Because I finally know what peace feels like. And contentment, and harmony, and joy and quiet, and leaning on the Lord. I mean really leaning.

I have had soooooo many manifestations of His help and His hand.

Help with the water, the ditch pump works!
Help with the mowers, they both work!
Help with a broken pipe and a huge flood!
Help with the car!
Help with finances!
Help with filling many many hours in a day!
Help with direction!
Help with scripture study!
Help with knowing He’s there!
Help with the locks!
Help with feeling safe!
Help with my calling!
Help with my church attendance!
Help with court!
Help with traveling!
Help with repentance!
Help with praying more!
Help with everything I didn’t think I could accomplish.

And so much more.

My life is faaaarr from what I thought it would be when I was looking forward at age 20. It’s been rough. It’s been disappointing. It’s been humiliating. It’s been gut-wrenching. But I can see miracle after miracle. I can see mercy after mercy. I can see God’s hand.

22
Jun

it’s been a little

and let me tell you why. First of all, I am going through a divorce. I have never felt so humiliated and ridiculous and stupid. I can’t even explain why I am embarrassed to show up here and talk about this. I know, I know . . I could talk about something else. Right? Wrong. I’m totally consumed by just how much this whole process has consumed me.

I seriously would have stuck it out. I remember having a ‘memory’ on FB pop up in January 2018 and it was from three years prior in 2015. At that time I realized Leonard was smoking meth and had several girlfriends, and yet I said something like, “28 years and we’re still together! It’s been really, really rough at times, but I’m in this for the long haul” … something like that.

I did not want a divorce. I did not want to go through a divorce.

I thought I could just live my life and he could do his thing. Indefinitely. I could find joy and happiness in the things I love: my family, my religion, my job, my friends, my hobbies and interests. There was much joy in all of those. I went to work each day and put on a smile. I enjoyed so many things. And then I came home and put up my guard, layered myself in lots of boundaries and protection, and somehow survived another evening/night.

I did not want a divorce. I did not want to go through a divorce.

Then one day, three years later, I said, “Leonard, you have got to stop smoking in the house. It is making me physically sick. My oxygen is low.” He said, “I can do whatever I want. It’s my house.” I said, “Then I’ll have to get a protection or restraining order because your smoking is killing me.” He said, “Fine, I’ll quit smoking in the house.” Two days later he was doing it again. Never mind that he locked his bedroom door, texted girlfriends day and night, had internet and phone s3x, smoked meth and now heroin, lied about going to CA, got arrested, drove off without paying Maverick, shoplifted at Shopko, totaled his truck and then drove through the back of the garage, then drove his unlicensed and uninsured car when completely impaired out on the highway and blew up the radiator. Never mind that he threatened me and bullied me and tried to intimidate, control, and manipulate me.

It was, in the end, the oxygen.

And now, after the restraining order, the search and seizure of drugs and heroin, the jail time . . . I finally have oxygen. Lots of it. I can breath. I can take wonderfully long and deep breaths. My oximeter registers in the mid to high 90s all the time!

And there’s been a measurable difference to my heart, as well. I am loving my life. The other day I felt like, for the first time in a long time, I am actually thriving. I am happy and productive and optimistic. I’ve been praying more and going to the temple, riding my bike, or taking a long walk, reading scriptures, listening to President Nelson’s 75 talks, listening to BYU devotionals, studying my Sunday lessons, working on my sacrament bulletin, working in the yard, cleaning up junk and more junk and, yes, even more junk. There’s been a whole lot of it around and I’m feeling like junk is a metaphor for my life. And now there’s not quite so much of it around here anymore.

It’s a start.

And I deserve it.

 

4
Feb

lawyer, finally

I’m finally seeing a lawyer. I’ve put this off for years. There were so many times back in the 90’s the 2000’s and even ten years ago. There were times in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, that I was sure things were going to end. I’ve finally had waaay too much of a really sick, destructive, cyclical, abusive, depressing, life-shattering relationship.

On a daily basis I reasoned things weren’t really “that bad.” I’d go to work early, working anywhere from 40-60 hours a week. I have a job with a little responsibility . . head custodian. I make decisions and direct people. I work lots of 10 and 12-hour days. I’d come home, watch a little TV, talk to my kids, and go to bed. I enjoyed and fulfilled my church callings, went to the temple, talked to friends and co-workers, interacted with others in a friendly and professional way. I enjoyed camping with family. I love playing games and reading and learning. I enjoyed life away from Leonard. Everything else that was going on, I could ignore, or wish away. Or look the other way. Because I had so many other good things in my life. But every year as Thanksgiving approached, I knew life was going to be rough for several months. Holidays, ugh. Christmas, a nightmare. Tax season… even worse than a nightmare. Then property taxes and insurance were due, another emotional onslaught. Every time I had to actually interact and discuss anything important, things got out of control and I was filled with dread and overwhelm.

Never mind the phone sex, pornography, two-year meth binge, prostitutes and other women, the girlfriend in Montana, the one in California that he has gone to visit several times but lied and said he was either going to Washington or hunting, the arrest in California, the years of him in a drug-induced stupor, and now the smoking in the house — smoking both cigarettes and heroin. The drug bust last Monday night by the Department of Criminal Investigation.

I was actually a little wishy-washy about this whole thing all week long. I kept doubting myself and thinking it could actually get worse in a courtroom. And then I got a text.

Can I get justins number lost my phone yesterday

Will u call him bave him call me

Yes no

Who is this? And Justin who?

Leonard dci justin lost my phone at work

Alright

Got his number

Alright what you calling or getting the number

You asked me to have him call you . . I sent a text to have him call you. I have no idea if he works today.

Can u text me his number

No. You can call Dispatch and ask them to give him a message. I don’t give out people’s private numbers. 307-782-7432

Am supossed to call bim every day

What ever same ol

That will give him a better idea

I couldn’t believe he could turn a text into a “proof that the reason ‘he is the way he is’ is because of something I said or did.” This phone text will apparently prove to Justin, a DCI guy who just had the choice to either arrest him for possession or trade an arrest for the name of his heroin dealer, that suddenly it will come on like a light-bulb for Justin — that the reason Leonard is addicted to porn, alcohol, women, sex, meth, prescription drugs, pain killers, lies, spending, power, heroin — is because I do things like not give out a phone number of someone who didn’t tell me it was OK to give out his phone number.

Really.

I’ve been working on a ‘timeline’ of all some of the things that have happened in the last thirty years that might be reasons why I want out. Things I had forgotten or blocked out. Things that should have been red flags. Things that no one in their right mind would have said, oh, it’s not that bad. Things could be worse. When it’s written out in a list . . it’s enough.

A week at SAFV with two small children
A restraining order
Broken doors
Fists through doors
Throwing the baby at the headboard
Yelling, screaming, intimidating, threatening
Insults
What he did to Cameron
Coming home drunk
Driving drunk
6-7 DUIs
Jail time
Not paying bills
Lying about going to Don’s
Lying about not going to California
Lying about his girlfriends
Lying about his porn
Lying about meth
Going through his entire retirement in a couple of years
Blaming me for all his problems
Screaming about the lawn mower
What he did with the pump last summer
Screaming about going to Evanston
Slicing a knife through the air at Logan
Showing up and hour late and stoned with his eyes rolling back in his head
Backing into my car and blaming me
Telling me I need to learn how to shoot a gun to protect myself

Believe me. It’s a partial list. But writing it down helps me to see that this is huge, that things are not going to get better, and that this really is reason to file for divorce.

Dr. Laura says divorce should never be taken lightly. But there are four As that should be a consideration for divorce. Alcohol, Abuse, Addiction, Abandonment. Alrighty. I’ve got four out of four going on right here. So I need to recognize this train wreck and do what it takes to get away from this deplorable situation.

Step one, tomorrow.