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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Armor

Ever heard the phrase, "Take it with a grain of salt?"

That's pretty much the rule of thumb when talking with a sex addict. At least in my life. I get called all sorts of names and things, I get blamed for everything under the sun.

I take it all with a grain of salt. I'm used to it. Which is bitter sweet. At one point, no one should be used to that kind of treatment. On the other hand, it doesn't reach me any more. Say what he will, I know it isn't true.

My skin is a lot thicker now than it was right after I found out about the addiction. I have an armor on that I hadn't even know I needed before. So, how do you get that armor? How do you get thicker skin?

Don't give in to the lies.

Someone says you aren't worth anything? Don't feel bad for yourself, feel bad for them. What you are seeing is their own insecurities.

All addicts are human, they are not all knowing beings who can evaluate your worth.

NONE OF US ARE QUALIFIED TO EVALUATE ANYONE'S WORTH. Not even our own. Worth is something so great, so far beyond our human comprehension.

In the movies, the soldiers often put on their armor before they get attacked. They prepare. They can see the attack coming and they gear up. They put on their armor, they say their prayers, and they get their family to a safe place.

Unfortunately, I think too many family members of addicts earn their armor after the attack has started. It's disorienting to suddenly find yourself in a war zone, to suddenly realize that you need emotional (and sometimes physical) protection. (Note: I don't ever condone someone staying in a dangerous situation. If you are in danger, get to someplace safe.)

These family members generally earn their armor with each blow. Each mean word, each blame, each lie can scar.

The best way to put on your armor? Pray. Pray for help. Pray for the addict in your life that he or she will find their way to truth and health. Pray for your family. Pray for yourself, to be able to withstand the attacks and to be in a safe place. To be able to make the best decisions.

So, take it from me. Learn from my and your experiences. Don't let in the lies about you. Their addiction is not your fault. You are enough. You are worth it. You have infinite worth. You are beautiful, and you are precious.

Precious is not a word reserved for babies and kittens. You. YOU are precious.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.









Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When your friend doesn't understand what it's like to deal with your husband's pornography addiction



Last night I had an article come out titled:

When your friend's husband is addicted to pornography


Follow that link to read the article.

But, what if it is you whose husband has the pornography addiction and your friend just doesn't get it? Some friends, even really good friends, can give awful advice. They may feel like they know what you should do, like they have the answers to your predicament.

They don't.

They aren't in your shoes, they don't know all of your situation. Even if you have told them everything, they haven't actually lived it. Even if their husband has also been involved with sexual addictions, they haven't actually lived your life. Every marriage, every situation, every addiction, every piece of pornography and affair and acting out is different. The way it was handled, the emotions felt, the things said, the relationship's background, are all different.

Besides, if I had to guess, you haven't actually told them everything. That thing your husband said, that thing your husband did, that thing your husband told you, that thing he blamed you for. But, even if you have told your friend everything, they still haven't lived it through your shoes. They may have good insight from their shoes, but they don't have all the answers for yours.

Remember:

1. They are not your therapist. Talking to them may be therapeutic, but they are not your therapist and are not trained to help you. (Unless your friend is a trained sexual addiction therapist, in which case lucky you!!!) Still, being your friend might make them biased... Go talk to a therapist that specializes in helping the spouses of sexual addicts.

2. If they haven't had a family member with a sexual addiction, they probably don't understand what all that addiction brings and entails. Don't take their crassness personally. They are probably confused, shocked in their own way, wanting to help you but not knowing how.  Keep your friends close, just remember that their answers won't always match the answers you are expecting. (Plus, some people who have family members with an addiction go into denial. Especially if it is their child. Even if they have experience, they may still not get it).

3.Make your own decisions. Your friend is not you, and you don't want to regret a decision you made just because your friend wanted you to.

4. If they don't ask you how you are doing, don't sweat it. I will post more about this later, but simply put I think that most women don't know how to ask you about this problem. It is a fear all women have, or a situation they are already having a problem with, and they just don't know how to help you. Don't be offended, just know they are probably scared and have no idea how to help or even ask about it. Think about if the shoe was on the other foot.


Also, remember that you are surrounded by people who get what you are going through. People who have had loved ones, spouses, children, parents, friends who have had a pornography/sexual addiction. We are a group of many. You are not alone.





Friday, December 18, 2015

Fortune Cookie Friday! Before you Roar...




I got this fortune one night when I was having to answer some very frustrating emails. Once I read it, I couldn't help but laugh!

So, remember, "Before you roar, please take a deep breath!"



Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Goliath and the small head of cauliflower



AWWWWWW!!!! Isn't this adorable! A cute, little, smaller-than-palm sized cauliflower head from a cute little cauliflower plant. Right?

Wrong!

The plant this came from was huge!!!!! Ginormous! Like, taking over the garden kind of big. 

For months I would go on a safari through my cauliflower plants and see if anything was growing. And for all of those months, no cauliflower could be found. Then, right before it was supposed to get cold, I went out to chop down the plant and clear it out from the garden. But lo and behold! Two of the plants had a little cauliflower growing. 

So I left it. I had heard that cauliflower can survive some frost (True? Who knows.) so I left it, hoping that we'd be able to cook some nice cauliflower.

But, right before the big snow dump I went out one last time, ready to cut off whatever had grown. I got 2 heads, Both about this size. Frozen. Underdeveloped. Cute, but sad.

What the crud! How could this have happened? No, seriously, how could this have happened? Any savvy gardeners know how I can have Goliath plants and only get fun size cauliflower?

I know there is some kind of a lesson that I could take from this. Some kind of parallel life story that I compare this too, but right now I am too frustrated to come up with one.

Here I put all of this hard work, time, energy, and money into this plant and all I get out of it is a small, soggy piece of cauliflower. Oh sure, on the outside the plant looks all perfect and huge and awesome. But beneath the surface it was barely producing. And no matter how long I watered it, nurtured it, all that came out was a little flowerette. 

I know that nothing else in life is like that...

Though I will say that, after thinking my plants weren't going to give me anything, finding a little bud of hope inside was quite fun! And even though I only ended up with a little cauliflower, I really do think it is cute and precious. It was a miracle!

Again, I can't think of anything else in life where that happens...

I've learned a lot from gardening, and hopefully next year it will be all the better!




Monday, December 14, 2015

PoP! Goes My Heart Music Video

This was one of my favorite videos in College. It is a spoof music video from the movie "Music and Lyrics." Do you recognize Hugh Grant there?




So, why am I sharing this? Because we all need a laugh sometimes!!!!!!!!! 

Enjoy. And you're welcome.

Update: It had been a while since seeing this show. So, after posting this I watched it and realized it wasnt as clean as I remembered. Mainly due to 1 character. So, this is not an endorsement of that movie as a whole.


And, don't forget to enter the contest to win an e-book ef Shadows of Angels. The contest ends on 12/17/2015 and details can be found here.





Friday, December 11, 2015

Giveaway and Review of "Shadows of Angels" by L.G. Rollins




I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!! Today we have a guest blog post and a giveaway! 

"Shadows of Angels" by L.G. Rollins just came out on the 8th of December, and today L.G. (Laura) is our guest blogger. I am so excited! It's a great post, and it is posted right before this one. So... scroll down for that awesomeness! We all deserve real, truthful love.

But first! I also just promised you a giveaway! You can win a free e-book of "Shadows of Angels" by doing 1 of 3 things. For each one of these three things you do your chances of winning goes up.

1) Put your email into my "follow by email" box to the right and push submit

2) Follow this blog

3) Follow me on Twitter.   You can find me Here or find me at @Jenelle_Stone

You have until midnight EST (Think: New York Time) on December 17, 2015 to do one of these three things to enter. At that point, someone will be chosen at random. THE WINNER WILL NOT BE ANNOUNCED. Instead I will contact them directly through either their e-mail or account. It is your responsibility to make sure your account (email, twitter, blogger, ect.) that you sign up with has a public contact information. If it does not, you can email me at writejenelle@gmail.com with your contact info and how you entered. Otherwise another winner will be chosen.You have 48 hours from the time I contact you or else another winner will be chosen. The winner will receive the e-book directly from the publisher, so your contact will be shared with them.


YAY! A Contest!



So exciting!!!!!!


My thoughts on Shadows of Angels


I loved this book! It kept me interested and wondering what was going to happen next the whole time. 

Actually, it was very interesting to read for multiple reasons. There are a couple of women characters in "Shadows of Angels" that are in different types of abusive relationships. I've talked a lot about relationships like these here on Get2theGist, and unfortunately they are very common. Reading how the women react to the abuse was very interesting. If you are in or ever have been in a relationship like that, chances are you will be able to relate to at least 1 of these women.

The book is full of adventure and main characters who have to face crazy odds to take back their world from insanely dangerous demons, blood thirsty creatures of the forest, and wanna-be-kings. Seriously, it's intense. But my main interest in the book was in the characters' personal drama. What is going to happen to the lady whose husband beats her? What about the woman whose been made to feel like her only purpose in life is to be used? How will the man learn to overcome his past? How will the other man learn to move past all the pain from his own past? What will happen to the obvious love between that guy and that girl?

The insane adventure just made it all the more awesome.

The only things I had a hard time with were the references to "Sister Earth," which I just didn't get, and a couple of the names sounded awkward on my tongue. Otherwise I enjoyed reading it. 

Which says a lot. I am actually pretty critical when it comes to my books.

It does have some blood and battle scenes throughout it, and topics of abuse and its effects, but nothing x rated. No bedroom scenes. One character that has been abused has some backwards ideas of how to use kisses and things like that to get what she wants. That is what I mean about some of the effects of abuse.

In fact, this book surprised me. Usually when a character in a book tells a story or tells about something in the past I find it boring. But a little over half way through Shadows of Angels I realized that I looked forward to the different characters telling about their past. It was like listening to puzzle pieces that put me into the middle of the story.

But maybe that is because the characters were relateable. We can all relate to having to work through life's painful trials, even if the trials may be different from the one's we have to deal with ourselves. 
Which brings me to Laura's guest post. I am so excited for you to read it, it is a really good read. Because this post is already this long, I decided to publish it in the post below. 
And don't forget to enter the contest!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you don't win, still go check out Rollins' book on Amazon:



Shadows of Angels by L. G. Rollins

After the forest dwellers destroy her home and kill her father, Aerbrin sets off on a journey to find the truth about her people, her kingdom, and the mysterious Zaad stone that contains a power she never imagined. Magic and mystery join forces in this intriguing fantasy world. Full of shifting alliances and twists you won't see coming, it's a can't-miss read.




Shadows of Angels, by L. G. Rollins
Excerpt:

"Stay calm, her father’s words echoed in her head. When you find yourself in danger, above all, stay calm. Aerbrin took a deep, steady breath and leaned down, reaching for her bow. one of the Forest Dwellers charged. It collided with her and knocked her to the floor. Raising a knotted fist, he bashed her head.
Sparks exploded across her vision. She tried to raise an arm, tried to call out. Her body wouldn’t respond. The Forest Dwellers grunted again. The creature above her raised its fist again. She looked up. This was the end, she knew. When these monsters attacked, they killed everything. Animals, plants, and particularly humans. No one survived.

Closing her eyes, Aerbrin forced her body to relax. This time, there was no pain."







Guest Post by Author L.G. Rollins!!!! True Love's Counterfeit




Today we have a Guest Blog Post by Author L.G. Rollins. Her  new book,  Shadows of Angels, just came out on the 8th!!!!!! Immediately following this I will post a review of her book and a chance for you to win a copy of the e-book!



Desperate Love: True Love's Counterfeit

by L.G. Rollins

I have worked for many years with high-school girls in my community. Some are out-going and bright; others are reserved, sweet, and wise. But there is one thing that is the same for every girl I have ever met—I would argue, every girl that has ever lived.

All girls have to feel loved.

We crave it. We die without it. We all need love in our lives. I'm not talking strictly about romantic love. I mean any kind of love. The love between a mother and daughter, or the love between teacher and student, and even the love between friends. We create love, and we call out for love.

But, unfortunately, love is not always given back. And seeing girls who receive love abundantly and girls who don't, has changed my ideas of what love is and how it effects us. Most certainly, it molded a particular character I wrote of in my novel Shadows of Angels. Hilfawn's relationships with others is largely driven by her need to prove herself worthy of love and respect. I wrote her like that, because I've seen it—heavens, I've done it—many times over.

"All girls have to feel loved. When they don't find it at home, desperation will drive them to do almost anything."
~ Lady Teepin, in Shadows of Angels by L. G. Rollins

If Hilfawn were my own daughter, this is what I'd tell her:

Hold your head high, you don't have to prove anything. You do deserve love. You do deserve respect. Not because of how you look, how you dress, or how much skin you're willing to show. It's not because of what you've done, or what you haven't done. You deserve love because you're a human being, because you live.

And here's the secret.

You must love yourself enough that you can live on your own love until someone comes along who knows how to love you the right way. Hold out until you meet that someone who knows that love, at its core, is based on goodness, not selfishness.

Hold out—love will find you.

But you must help it along by loving yourself enough to not buy into a desperate love in the mean time. If someone says they love you, but they hurt you as often as not, you are in a 'desperate love' and not a 'true love' relationship.

True Love only comes to those who are truly kind.

Help love find you by showing yourself respect in the way you dress and in the things you say. If you hang out with those who tear others down, then they are tearing you down. Find friends who know this secret.

I wish I could tell every girl this. I wish every girl knew how much she's worth—how much love she truly has to give.

Just hold out a little longer. Love's coming your way. Just love yourself until it reaches you.



About Rollins:


L. G. Rollins grew up in a far off land fighting dragons, stealing talismans, and traveling with dwarfs and elves. She is especially skilled at bribing giants with sweets. Currently, her husband and four kids live in Utah so that is where she spends most of her time. She may, or may not, have a Zaad Stone. To learn more about L. G. Rollins and her books visit LGRollins.com.



Note From Jenelle: I loved Rollins' point at the beginning about love coming in many different forms. Love between spouses, love between parent and child, siblings, friends, etc.

Some relationships are full of love, some are not. Remember though, that no matter your relationship status with any of these, there is One who will always truly love you. And that is a love you don't have to wait for. He has already proven it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What gifts really matter to you?


A few days ago I had an article publish on familyshare.com titled:
Follow the link to find the article.

Actually, you might be surprised to find what gifts made the list. Jewelry? A new bed set? Toiletries? What?!!!!! Jenelle, have you gone crazy? 

No. 

Read the article, you'll see what I mean. But what it all comes down to is that everyone likes to feel that their wishes and likes, and the things that they need to live are being respected if at all possible. People need to know that they are cared about. 

Some of my favorite gifts have been the small things that I needed anyway. Elaborate gifts can be amazing, of course, but those won't mean much in the end if you feel like you aren't cared about on a basic level.

I know that not all women are like that, but I am. If there was only enough money to get me one gift, I would rather that gift be something I need than something I don't need, no matter how nice it is.

Like... I would choose a new set of kitchen pans over jewelry.

But keeping someone's interests and the things they actually need in mind is a great way to start looking for gifts. Don't be one of these people that buys something for a gift just because. Make it count!!!!! Put some thought into it!!!!!!

Are you like me or do you disagree? How do you feel about gifts you need versus gifts that you may want but don't need?

If you needed pans, would you choose the jewelry anyway?



Also...... I am so excited for this Friday! Come join me here at Get 2 the Gist for a chance to win an ebook written by L.G. Rollins, "Shadows of Angels." She will also join us for a guest blog post titled, "Desperate Love: True Love's Counterfeit." You won't want to miss this!





Monday, December 7, 2015

The doomed "Attribute Activity"

A few years ago, very soon after I found out about my family member's addiction, we were given a copy of a "Christ Like Attribute Activity." It's a 1 page list if attributes, habits and feelings. Then the idea is that you rate yourself on each attribute from 1 to 5. 1 meaning never, 5 meaning always.

The questions were things like:

-I am kind and patient with others. and -I work to strengthen my faith

That kind of thing.

The two of us were asked to rate ourselves and then to rate the other person on these attributes. Then, later down the road, do it again and see if your feelings of yourself and the other person had changed. Basically, how were we working on our relationship and how were we developing in our situation.

But. It was REALLY REALLY rough.

I remember we were on the phone to do this activity. As we went down the list of attributes, he gave me insanely low rankings. He ranked me low on caring for others. He ranked me low on being spiritually in tune. He ranked me low on everything.

And I'd say things like, how could you rank me low on praying? You see me pray everyday. And he'd respond with things like, yes, but I don't think or know that you are serious about it.

...

Truthfully, it hurt. It really hurt.

Lesson that I learned from this activity:

-Not everyone is qualified (or should) evaluate your personal attributes.

And, seriously, you can tell the difference between someone who is giving you a tip out of love versus someone who is just mad and speaking out of anger.






Tuesday, December 1, 2015

When Happy Memories are Questioned



Sometimes, when you realize a relationship has been built on lies, it makes you question the happy memories within that relationship.

The moment I realized that things were not as they seemed during some of my fondest memories, I was devastated.

In fact, there is a particular memory that still gets to me. It was a very personal, very vulnerable moment in which I felt very close to this person. I felt loved, I felt cared for, and even though it was something so small that he did for me, It was a memory that I cherished . . . for about a month. And then I found out that nothing was as it seemed. Nothing was what I thought it was.

And then I felt a conflict that I sometimes still feel with certain memories. The conflict of [I still want to consider that a good memory] vs. [yeah, but it was all a lie.]

There is no good answer. What do I do about it? What do any of us do about it?

Especially when I think specifics. Like... during some memories, he was actually simultaneously involved in something else that was tearing us apart.

What I have decided is that there are certain memories I just have to relabel. They weren't really good, I just thought they were. Now that I know the reasoning behind this person's actions, behind this person's comments and timing, it has helped me to see what was really going on. There was one time we were at a dance, having a blast. He was nervous, I thought that was cute. He made a comment that I thought meant something different than what it really meant. But that comment influenced the rest of the night. Only, I thought we were talking about something else.

Years later, he referenced that night of the dance and said something that made me realize what he had really meant by his comment and actions that night. He explained it even more, and I was disgusted.

I was crushed. My happy memory suddenly turned very sour. That is what I mean by saying that I have to relabel some memories. It wasn't good like I thought it was, and that stinks.

Then there are other memories that I just have to rely on the fact that I had a good experience. That I enjoyed myself. Even if the other person was otherwise engaged, I have a good memory and that is ok.

It is ok to separate the fact that even though the memory was surrounded by crud and lies, I enjoyed it and therefore it can stay a good memory as far as I myself am concerned.

 And some of the memories were truly good. Things that I don't think I have to relabel or come to terms with. Things that I know we both enjoyed, favorite meals, favorite places to hang out, etc. Even though things were not as they seemed on the whole, knowing that there were at least tidbits of truth helps.

I guess my point is that I will never fully understand the circumstances surrounding those memories. But it is ok to focus on the fact that it was at least truthful on my part and that I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that vacation. I enjoyed that movie. I enjoyed that family get together.

It is sad that I even have to question. That I even have to know that so many things were one sided. But the truth of the matter is that the relationship was built on lies. And that effects things in major ways.

I would rather that they had been built on truth. But, I don't want to write off years of my life and years of memories just because someone else might not have been fully committed.


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy least popular day of the year for viewing porn!





Happy least popular day of the year for viewing porn! Warm wishes to you and your family!

Oh yeah, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I shared this link last year, and I'm going to share it again. It's a link to a infographic of obscenity stats. And on it it says that Thanksgiving is the least popular day of the year to view porn. Which is a great thing to be thankful for!


ttp://www.techaddiction.ca/files/porn-addiction-statistics.jpg

Monday, November 23, 2015

This is what we call "misrepresentation"

As I was walking down the side walk one day, I saw this:



I'm not really sure what this is. Maybe it is some kind of an electrical unit, or access for the train. Maybe there is some danger involved in opening this. Like a possible electric shock, an alarm going off, or neglected spider web and massive spider waiting to bite you. 

However, I am pretty sure that the sticker on the front is not correct:



Unless there is someone hunched inside, waiting to tickle the next unsuspecting person to open up that door, this is what we call MISREPRESENTATION. 

Other examples of misrepresentation:

When people call black licorice "yummy."
When people call Shrek "funny."
When people call porn "normal."
When people call the man bun a "good fashion choice."

Don't fall for misrepresentation.

If in doubt, don't eat black licorice, don't watch Shrek, don't look at porn, and don't wear a man bun. Follow this advice and already you're ahead in life.




Monday, November 16, 2015

Introducing: Instructions for Life

Is this really what this world has come to? 



Once upon a time, people had common sense. They knew that stoves get hot. They knew not to shake their sodas. And they knew how to cross the street. 

Aha moment! I've figured out why the world has so many problems! If people need instructions to cross the street, maybe they need instructions for other things too...



Problem solved. 







Friday, November 13, 2015

The whole world is living 1 day at a time

I am working on an article right now that required I interview the parents of child cancer survivors. When I asked one of them how they got through such an ordeal, her answer was one day at a time.

One day at a time.

When I talk to the spouses of addicts, what is the common phrase I hear?

I take it "one day at a time."

When you watch the news and see an interview or press conference with a city in turmoil, rescue operation or natural disaster, what do they always say?

We're taking it "One day at a time."

We hear this all the time at funerals as well.



The whole world is taking it "one day at a time" with something or other. Everyone is dealing with multiple things. Like, when will my husband find a job? When will my marriage heal? When will I get my big break? When will I meet the one for me? Why do I not look the way I want to? When will things at school be better? Why did my loved one have to die? How do I deal with this disability?

No one is suffering alone. And no one is healing alone. We might be healing from different things, we might be figuring out different situations. But it is something we all have to deal with.

One day at a time.

Which is ok. It is just fine to take it one day at a time. Focus on what is important, take the time to do things right. Sometimes taking it one day at a time now means you have a better future later.

The world needs to take a deep breath, stretch, and charge the next day.


Monday, November 9, 2015

What to know about your spouse's addiction

I almost didn't write this post for two reasons:

1) It makes me want to throw up.

2) This post could be a major trigger for the spouse of an addict. So, if this is you, be very wary of reading this.

I am purposefully going to write vaguely here. There are a lot of things that I am not going to include, lots of details that I am not going to spell out. Because all addicts and addictions are going to be different. Just because one addict is involved in something, doesn't mean that another addict is.

So, why write this post?

Because all spouses of addicts reach a point where they panic and think, "what is my spouse involved in?" "What do I even look for?" "Help!"

So, I am going to go into what I personally think every spouse of an addict needs to ask their spouse about their addiction. Before you follow my thoughts here, ask a therapist what they think about my thoughts and what you should do. I am not so much giving advice as I am sharing what I have seen. Especially the more dangerous and threatening your situation is, these thoughts are not for you. If you are in a dangerous circumstance, go talk to an appropriate person for your case. Maybe that is a women's shelter, the police, a therapist, or a lawyer. Only you know.

1) What is the plan for nipping this addiction in the bud? Are they willing to talk to a therapist? Clergy? Both?

2) Lots of spouses immediately ask how long the addiction has been going on for, where the spouse has been accessing the pornography, etc.  Be careful about how many details you ask for. Before you ask any details, make sure it is for something you really want or need to know. Once you know you can't forget easily.

3) Does your addiction include porn that includes children? This is a major, major red flag that I think scares the crud out of each and every spouse of an addict.  Because addictions having to do with children are different. They are not the same. Once someone crosses that line, they don't just uncross it. Talk to your therapist about this if your spouse is involved with this kind of obscenity.

4) Any one night stands/ affairs/ or the like? Aside from wanting to know if this is involved in your marriage, it might make a difference in whether you need to go and get tested for STDs.

5) Are there any stashes of porn in your home? You don't want there to be ANY chance that your children come across those types of images, videos or texts. Yes, texts. The written word can be used for a lot of crud.


I am sure there are other things you should know, other things you should ask. There is a whole list I could post about the types of things addicts get into, but it would shock people. Most people would be shocked to find out what is available even close to your house.

What I would stress, and I have written posts about this in the past, is that you DO NOT GO LOOKING TO SEE WHAT YOUR SPOUSE LOOKED AT. When I first heard of a spouse doing that, I felt sick for them. I understand that they are in a state of panic and confusion, but you don't want that in your head. Find the phrase "Dead Deer" in my topic cloud to the right and see what I wrote on the subject.  And make sure you THINK REALLY HARD before asking any questions you may regret. Once you know the answer, you can't un-know it.

And, know that everything will be ok. It's hard, but many people come out of this stronger and sometimes even closer to their spouse than they were before. Sometimes it doesn't work out, the circumstances are too dangerous or what not and the marriage ends. Either way, there is hope for happiness.

Again, this is very heavy stuff. Talk to a therapist about it before you just take my observations.                                                                                                                              

Friday, November 6, 2015

Do you have a crappy foundation? Literally?

Have you ever realized that you're standing on a foundation made of poop? Well, then you might be a pigeon. Or human, really. This happens all the time. Figuratively, of course.


Like the recent story of the boy who had been missing for 13 years! Fox News 
How horrifying to realize that your whole life was something different than you thought it was. 

Honestly, though, to some extent we all deal with crappy foundations. Co-workers, family members, friends, spouses. You will always run into people who are not truthful or whose feelings are only skin deep.

I have a situation I am in that is extremely frustrating. A foundation made of poop, to be sure. I am in the unfortunate position to witness the brunt of this person's lies, actions, and misleadings, I know their history, and this person attacks me constantly with put-downs, swearing, and all sorts of other things. Then they turn around and ask me to trust them.

And there I am, standing on the metaphorical packed down poop.

But, look at that picture above! That nest isn't just magically going anywhere. It needs to be scraped down, sanitized, probably repainted and then guarded to keep the pigeons that will keep coming back away. 

This ledge can become clean. It can be completely transformed. But it has a history with pigeons that, if the bird watching website I read can be trusted, will continue to come back to the place they were born to nest. The ledge can become clean, but it will always need to be guarded. 

People are the same way. Habits, especially addictions, have to be guarded against always. It is a full time job for the rest of that persons life. 

I pray all the time that (not in these words) the person I know will try to scrape the crap away and do their best to not let the birds take nest.







Wednesday, November 4, 2015

What you learn at Cafe Rio : The Real Deal





MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM! I have a confession to make: I love Cafe Rio! If I had to choose a last meal, it would be Cafe Rio. And I am pretty sure that Heaven will have a Cafe Rio on every corner. Because that would just make sense. 

It's that good.

On a side note, I'd like to put my availability out there if Cafe Rio needs a quality control/ taste testing person. Just saying. 

But, back to the point of the post, what can you learn from Cafe Rio? Other than that their green dressing tastes good on everything?

Soap Box: Now, I am always on the search for "The Real Deal" Check out my other real deal posts by visiting my topic cloud to the right and clicking on "Real Deal." 

The Real Deal: Honest, legitimate, worthy, true.


Unlike this:



Oh Cafe Rio, my love, this is a fail. The sign reads "Yep...These limes and tomatoes are real." And those are flour bags. 

Have you ever met someone like this? Or been in a situation where you realized that your limes and tomatoes were flour bags? What a rude awakening. 


This on the other hand is amazing:





What the lemons?! This is called going the extra mile. Yep...these limes and tomatoes are real... and so are these lemons. 

This is the real deal! 


So how do you go from this?


To This?





Luckily those flour bags can, with work, be turned into scrumdidiliumtious tortillas. A building block for a good burrito or salad.

Poof! Problem solved and you are half way to making my meal.

Aren't we lucky that we can learn from our trials and go forward to build something great!



Cheesy Moral of the Story:

Don't trade in your limes and tomatoes for a bag of flour. But, if you do, make a tortilla and start over.





Monday, November 2, 2015

You just found out that your spouse is a pornography addict

 For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus on women, though there are plenty men who are the spouse of an addict.



So you just found out that your husband is a pornography addict.

I am so sorry, and I send you a hug!

Lots of things may start to make sense to you. Maybe your husband had become more distant in the past, maybe he'd become more moody. Pornography and sex addiction changes a person. It literally changes their brain and it desensitizes them. Pornography is a crash course in dehumanization and objectification.

2 things to know:

1) Your husband's addiction is NOT YOUR FAULT. It is NOT ABOUT YOU.  Addiction cycles are beasts! Addictions consume you. Nothing about you caused your husband's addiction. Your appearance, your homemaking skills, etc. etc. etc. Nothing you could or could not have done would have caused his addiction. This is a choice he made, and you have nothing to do with it.

2) There is hope. I don't know your personal story, I don't know the situation you are in. But there is hope. If your situation is such that you and your husband are no longer together, then there is hope for you, for happiness, for healing. If you have the chance to work on your marriage, then there is hope for your marriage, for happiness, for healing.


What do do now: (Note: your situation is unique to you. You know what is best, and what you need to do. Some people find themselves in very dangerous situations. If this is the case, call and talk to a women's crisis center or shelter or another person that you know is the place to go. Or a lawyer, I don't know. Call your parents. The point is that my thoughts will not work for every situation. Be aware and act smart.)

1) Go talk to a therapist who specializes in this type of addiction. Hopefully your husband will go with you and the therapist will come up with a therapy plan. No money? Find out if your insurance will help, if the therapists have scholarships or if your church might help you with some of the costs. There are also free or discounted or normal paid church therapy programs. There are also books written by therapists specializing in sexual addiction and codependency.

Lots of spouses of addicts benefit from going to see their own therapist. You are going through your own trauma, and just like other types of trauma, it is good for you to get help with it.

2 ) Go talk to your church clergy. Get the spiritual support and help that you need.

3) Get a support structure. Legitimate support groups, therapy groups, family and friends that are good listeners, etc. No one should have to go through this feeling alone. And, unfortunately, you aren't alone. Lots of people are going through this same thing.

4) Take care of yourself. Keep to your prayers, your spiritual health and study, etc. Keep to church.  Stay groomed, eat well, etc. Do NOT change anything about you to try and fit what your husband might see in porn. It doesn't do any good for anyone, it won't help.

5) Go to my Addiction tab at the top of this page and read my addiction articles. They act as kind of a FAQ for spouses and addicts as I interviewed therapists when writing them.


But first, before you do anything, take a deep breath. I'm sure you feel like you're walking through Hell right now. What you need to realize is that you were already in this situation before, it's just that you are now realizing it. Knowing that you are going through Hell is a heck of a lot better than knowing something is wrong and not having a clue. Knowing that you are in Hell is the first step in being able to get out of it.

Some therapists say to not make any big decisions within the first year of finding out about your spouse's addiction. Sometimes this doesn't work, but you can see where they would suggest this in general. I will post about this more later.

Hugs! It will all be ok!

Again, I don't know your particular situation. I am not a therapist, lawyer, etc. This is just my personal reaction or my personal thoughts.

Also, I go into more detail about the things I talk about here throughout my past blog posts.

Good luck to you! And again, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2015

A year with the spouses of addicts

Hello, All!


Guess What? Guess What! Guess What! Guess What!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my blog! Celebrate!!!!!!  A year ago today I wrote a 1 or two sentance post welcoming you to my blog and telling you to stay tuned for posts.

It's been a crazy year!

It's very interesting to look back at my blog's stats. Almost all, with I think 2 acceptions, of my top viewed blog posts are about dealing with a family member's sexual addiction or fighting the pornography or related industries.

What are the 2 acceptions? My "finding the Real Deal" posts where I did my ice cream sandwich experiments. Find it here:  Finding the Real Deal Part 2

But I suppose that is to be expected. How do you beat ice cream?

I wanted to say thank you. I have had some great experiences through this blog, and I appreciate you all. There is definitely a club of sorts, a group of people out there who are all dealing with similar issues.

If there is one thing that I have learned, and that I hope you have learned too, it's that no one is alone in this endeaver.

There are many out there who are hurting, many out there that are healing. Many out there who feel that their marriage is hanging on a thread and many out there who are looking for help.

I talk about no one being alone all the time because things like pornography addiction in a spouse tends to make you feel isolated. To put it bluntly, sexual addictions are designed to do 3 things to the spouse: 1) destroy self confidence 2) knock you down 3) make you feel isolated . That is why I will say it until I am blue in the face and mistaken for a broken record.

You are not alone.  All you have to do is walk down the street and you'll probably pass multiple people who are hurt, heartbroken, and dispairing over their spouse's addiction. Many of them are hurting financially, having spent most of their money on expensive therapy or maybe their spouse spent the money on his or her addiction. They feel as isolated as you do, probably not talking in any detail to anyone about what they are going through. Because they feel it reflects on them.

And yet, if time could pause itself and all of the family members of addicts were the only one's not frozen, I would guess that everyone would find themselves un-paused. If only spouses were un-paused even, you would find how many men and women were there with you.

Because everyone is affected in some way. Everyone has a connection to some heartache caused by addiction, whether they know it or not. There are just too many people who are suffering under the weight of sexual addiction. Too many addicts who are going through their own version of hell, too many spouses and families who are unfortunately taken along for the hellish ride.

But, if there is one thing to take from this all, is that you are not alone.

I wish with all of my heart that I could tell you that you are by yourself in this. That no one else is dealing with what you are dealing with. Because I wish this wasn't such a widespread problem. But that isn't the case. And you are not alone, not even close.

There are a lot of people in the same place as you, glad to know that they are not alone.

This has been a great year. But this next year is going to be even better. I have some fun things planned, and I can't wait to see how they go!

Thanks again!

Jenelle

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Would you say your trial is a blessing?

A couple of nights ago I heard someone ask another person if they would consider their trials a blessing. I have been asked this question as well and now I ask you:

Would you consider your trials a blessing? Would you consider what you have gone through as beneficial?

If you are human, your first reaction was probably to say "No. No, of course I don't consider this horrible, awful, condescending thing I am going through to be a blessing." Followed up with one raised eye brow and a resounding, "Are you kidding me?"

I write a lot for the spouses of addicts and I can almost guarantee that most spouses of addicts would first want to say, "Are you serious? This is a curse, not a blessing."

But I have to pause when someone asks me this question. Not just because I know that I should find some way to be thankful for my trials, but because some honestly good things have come from them.

I'm being serious.

First of all, I have been able to share what I have learned with others, and hopefully help them as they help me. I write articles, I write this blog.

It is important to share your story.

Second of all, I have developed relationships with some amazing women. Friends that whether or not we spend a lot of time together, we are now connected in a much deeper, serious way.

Third of all, I have developed relationships with some awesome organizations. People who are trying to fight the pornography industry and help those who have found themselves run over by it.

Though I wish that my family never had to go through what it did, what it is still going through. I now am aware of a whole scary, serious world out there and how the laws affect and don't affect it. It has been a learning experience to say the least.

But it is still a trial that we have to deal with. Someone else makes their own decisions and, especially in circumstances like this, it affects you and your family forever. We will always be dealing with ramifications.

The hardest part of everything is to see how it effects my family and my little one. My kid. I have a harder time being grateful for my family's trials when it comes to the pain it has caused my little one and my family. My family has suffered a lot through this, and that just kills me.

Remember though, that being grateful for a trial does not mean that you turn a blind eye to it. Or that you stop putting in safeguards for your family. It definitely does not mean that you accept it.

Hear me:

BEING GRATEFUL FOR A TRIAL DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ACCEPT IT AND TURN A BLIND EYE. IT JUST MEANS THAT YOU SEE YOUR ABILITY TO BECOME STRONGER AND LEARN THROUGH IT.

Being grateful does not mean that you are perfect.

BEING GRATEFUL DOES NOT MEAN THAT ALL IS WELL.

For me, I have come to realize something. And though I say it with a deep breath, I am grateful for my trials. I am grateful for the strength and protection that my Heavenly Father has given me and my family. I am grateful for the opportunity to come closer to God. I am grateful for my ability to share what I have learned with others. And I am grateful for the ability to forgive those that have given me these specific trials.

On a closely related note, I am also grateful for ice cream and caramel sauce. :)

I think it is legitimate to consider your trials, especially depending on the trial, both a blessing and a curse.

Which I think I can say with sincerity: My trials are both a BLESSING and a CURSE.

 And this does not make it ok. 

I don't like my trials.

But, if you can, use your trial to bless someone else. Turn your curse into someone else’s blessing.





Monday, October 26, 2015

If you contact me...

I have recently gotten a couple of emails that I can't tell apart from spam. Many spammers say something like, "I need to talk to you, please contact me." Or what they say is so vague that I am not sure what they are talking about or where they are going with it.

Not that you have to go into every single detail of what you want to talk to me about in an e-mail, but do something to let me know that you are not spam and what your purpose is in contacting me. If there is any question whether you are spam or not, I won't answer. There are too many risks in answering if you are spam.

If you are contacting me about ideas for an article, say so! I love these types of emails.

If you are contacting me to tell me your story about you or your loved one's addiction, that is obviously fine and would show me that you aren't spam.

If you are contacting me over a specific post, just say so and then I'll know you are legit.

But I don't respond to mean emails or spam. So, don't be in one of those categories.

If you have sent me an email and it is legit, and I haven't responded, send it to me again and be more specific.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

If you can't say anything nice...





Ever have someone that just can't be nice to you to save their life?

You can be out of your way, awkwardly nice to them and they are still nasty. In fact, they go out of their way to be mean.

Am I right? Do you know someone like this? To the point where it just isn't a tuesday if you don't get sworn at?

I've known people like this, and usually their behavior reacts like a rollar coaster ride. Up and Down, Up and Down. One day they are swearing at you, the next they are suddenly acting abnormally nice.

You can get whiplash from this kind of thing.

So, what is to be done? How do you surive this kind of onslaught?

From my experience I have learned to do the following things:

1. Smile. Though not sarcastically, and not if it isn't appropriate. But, when the occasion is correct, having a welcoming smile can be good. Don't stoop to their level. Just because they are nasty doesn't mean you have to be as well.

2. Take a deep breath. Pause before you respond.

3. Don't get into a screaming match.

4. Think before you speak. Don't say anyting you will regret later. Everyone respects a person who can handle confrontation with grace. No one respects a person who handles confrontation with petty jabs.


And, in the end, remember that the person who treats you like this is probably not a reliable source for an opinion of you. It is hard to not take someone else's nastiness personally. Especially if it is very blatent. But the simple truth is that the person who can't be respectful to you, also can't be trusted to give an accurate representation of you. If they can't be nice, why would you care what they think?

This is harder to practice than to say. If someone tells you hat you are stupid, you're going to take it personally. Even if you don't believe them. But don't believe them. Someone who is diminished to the point of calling names is not qualified to give a character reference for you.


And, just because, I had to include the following clip. I love Steel Magnolias. Though I have to be in the mood to bawl. 'Cause I do. buckets and buckets of tears near the very end.





If you've never seen Steel Magnolias, and you don't mind crying, go check it out:

Friday, October 16, 2015

When Church and prayer seems like the worst, remember it's the best.

There is a certain amount of peace that comes from going to church. I love to learn about a God who loves me and a savior that loves me so much that he would give his life for me. I love to learn ways that I and my family can be happier.

But sometimes those things make it HARD to go to church, too!

Soon before my divorce process started, things at home were rough. To say the least. It was traumatic, it was sad. During that time it was hard to go to church because I felt like all I did at church was try not to cry. I'd hear a song that reminds me that Heavenly Father will support me during my trials... and I'd cry. I'd hear a lesson on marriage... and I'd cry. I'd feel the peace that comes with going to church ... I'd cry. I'd feel the peace of praying... I'd cry.

You get the point. Generally it wasn't full out crying, but trying NOT to.

I basically went to church and continuously tried not to cry.

But I went anyway. Because I knew that feeling that peace and crying because I felt loved was better than not going and not feeling the peace of going to church and still crying anyway. I still needed the truth I learned at church, I still needed that help.

And eventually it got easier. And then easier turned into easy. Going helped to boost me up.

Of course I still run into things that remind me of heartache. And that is hard. But then I turn to God again and he helps me through it.

I think that is why some people have a hard time praying or attending church, even when they know it is true. Because, especially with praying, you put your self out there and feel vulnerable. This can sometimes seem scary when you are just trying to hold it all together.

But remember that church, prayer, reflection, taking a deep breath, resting, its all there to help you and sort things out.

Use these tools to help you get through your trials and find some peace. Do it now so that you save yourself some pain and heartache later.

If you could do something to help ease your pain, wouldn't you?


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Do's - Etiquette according to Jimmy Johns



My favorites are "Offer your seat to... people with fire arms" and "Put your napkins on your lap-and leave other people's laps alone."

No one teaches etiquette any more, do they? While growing up I was always taught to put a napkin on my lap while eating, especially at a nice restaurant. No one else does that any more. You should say thank you, push in your chair after you leave a table, have a general respect for others, etc. Etiquette, manners, they are quickly becoming lost art forms. 

I can picture our great great grandmothers, were they in our position, telling their children to sit up straight, not to use slang, and to put that cell phone away.

Do you still teach your kids etiquette? Did your parents teach you?



Saturday, October 10, 2015

What is a WOPA?


It may surprise you to learn that I had never heard the term WOPA until reading some of the WOPA blogs that I follow. It's pretty self explanatory:

WOPA: Wife Of a Porn (and sex) Addict

Though the title brings with it a mixture of emotions, I think there is value in feeling and knowing that you aren't alone. That this is a thing, for good or bad, and that there are other WOPA's out there who share in your type of experience.

It's like a club that no one wants to be in, but those who are in it can take comfort from each other.

Being a WOPA does not define you, though it will try.
It simply describes your situation, your trials, and your marriage.

If you are a WOPA you have already survived a great trial. You obviously have great strength and endurance (even if it doesn't feel like it). Many women, whether married to an addict, divorced from an addict, or having dated an addict, should realize how strong they are from having gone through that struggle.

Just because you can't see your own strength does not mean it isn't there.

Without even having met you, I can tell that you are strong. No one survives being a WOPA without having a massive inner strength. Of course that strength is tested, of course that strength is stretched. But it is there. Whether or not you can see it, it is there.


On a totally different subject, can you find the bee in the flower picture at the beginning (or end) of this post? I promise it is there. Even if you can't see it. :)