Thursday, September 15, 2016

You Aren't As Alone As You Feel (Dear Me)

This is an excerpt from the end of my self-help book. It's a letter I wrote myself three years after disclosure. It took me a long time to fully heal from the Relational Trauma I went through with Devin. I would've healed sooner had I listened to those around me. Had I not been so bullheaded. Please don't be like me. 





Dear Me,

            I’m sorry you just found about Devin’s online affair.  I'm sorry it wasn't just porn. But I’m glad you found that backbone of yours again because unfortunately you’re going to need it again soon. Please listen to your guardian angel when she says Devin is a sex addict because he is, I’m so sorry. Elsie your world is about to be turned upside down but know you can handle it, you’ve been through some tough shit in your life but now is the time to stand strong and focus on you and your children. Listen to your guardian angel, she’s been put in your life for a reason and won't be here long. She is telling you about S-Anon for a reason. Every fiber of your being wants to focus on Devin and his behaviors, his problems, soon you will want to focus on his affairs, yes there are more. You’ll want to focus on the women too. Trust me, they aren’t worth your time and they sure aren’t worth neglecting time away from your kids. They were objects to Devin, nothing more, nothing less and it is you that is making them larger than life while damaging yourself in the process. Trust me, the images you see will come back to haunt you along with all the words and details you will learn. They will pop up when you least expect it and at the most intimate moments and ruin far too many days ahead.
            There is a piece of wisdom you don’t hesitate to share with Devin yet you don’t seem to see the wisdom in it for yourself. You tell Devin if he spent as much time on his recovery as he did on his addiction he’d be so much further along by now. Take a look in the mirror, Elsie. After your second disclosure day, again, I’m sorry you’ll have another, you spend far too much time obsessing on the other women, then you move on to obsessing over Devin’s recovery.  If you spent that time working on YOU, you yourself would be a healthier person too.
            I beg of you, give one of the twelve-step programs a chance. You walked in with such a chip on your shoulder despite your relationship with God. You couldn’t admit your life was also out of control, you couldn’t admit you needed outside help from others because your massive pride was in the way – take help from others. These women will help you. They understand like no others can. The programs work. It’s not about “their” religion, it’s not a cult, there’s not some bizarre motive. It just works. 
            If you don't reach out to a program, reach out to a healthy place like church, a counselor, or someone who doesn't bash your husband for being a sex addict. He's a sick person, not a bad person. Don't let people tell you otherwise.
            Trust me. I’m not going to lie, you’re in for some pretty messed up times, but you’ll get through it and I think if you had a better network of friends, like S-Anon, you’d get through it much better. Oh, and one last tid bit of advice…don’t tell your friends. You think it’s a great idea.  I assure you, it’s not.  It changes everything, even years later.
            I'm happy to say things do get so much better! You become a much emotionally, healthier person - through the help of a twelve-step program. As they say, it works if you work it.

Love,


Me.

For those of you who lurk, I hope that this gives you a sense of hope. You aren't as alone as you feel. Don't be afraid to reach out to others. We're here to listen. We're here to provide our experience, strength, and hope.

God bless.

Have you ever felt alone in something you were facing in your life? Were you afraid to talk about it for fear of judgment? 

17 comments:

  1. We end up being our own worst enemies. You wish you could reach back and knock some sense into yourself. Hopefully that letter helps someone in the here and now.

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    1. You're so right, Alex. I was definitely my own worst enemy. For far too long. I thought I could do everything from healing to learning about the addiction on my own but I couldn't. I was clueless and stubborn and did myself so much damage. I hope this letter helps others in my position not to do the same.

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  2. That's in the book? That's really powerful. May it help someone to realize she (or he) needs to focus on her not him.

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    1. Yes, it's at the very end. Thank you. I hope it does help someone because it took way too long for me to get it through my thick and stubborn skull! :)

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  3. Hi Elsie - so often that is the way we take things ... but almost certainly the challenge is not as serious as yours. Good for you ... and thank you for highlighting this letter to us - it's so easy to forget our own actions - when they need addressing too ... at least to help us along the road - good luck and with thoughts - Hilary

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    1. Thank you, Hilary. I was so unwilling to see what was clearly being offered to me and I was unable to accept the helping hands of those being offered, it really set me back for a long time. My hope is that others won't follow in my footsteps.

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  4. Yep, we sure end up screwing ourselves over more than what needed to be sometimes. Very true about 99% of friends too, tell them anything and they'll spread it around or throw it back in your face years later. Pffft to that. Good you finally thought about you though and out to stepping you did go....even with one eye lol

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    1. I think Alex is right. We are out own worst enemies sometimes. Many of us have great friends who would support us through thick and thin no matter what happens but for some reason, this addiction is just too much to handle for most people. It's a bizarre one, that's for sure! You know you love my one eye!!

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  5. What a great letter full of wise words and good advice, I do not know how or if I would have coped in you position, I find you amazing and inspiring

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  6. amazing piece of wisdom .

    i have kind of phobia that fear of being judged by others and i realized that this fear affects my performance while demonstration

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  7. So glad you were able to find peace with yourself, which is always more difficult than finding peace with our loved ones who have wronged us. As it was said above, we really are our own worst enemies. I'm harder on myself than anyone I've ever met, included people who've hated me with a passion.

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  8. I've found that writing letters to ourselves can be very therapeutic. In fact, I wrote one 36 years ago and was surprised how the 22 year old me thought. Sadly, I think he'd kick my butt now if he could meet me.
    I dress better now, though.

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  9. @JoAnne - Thank you. I think we find out how strong we are when we're faced with things we don't expect. When we are truly put to the test.

    @Bali - I have the same fear you do. It's hard to put myself out there and not worry about being judged by others and wonder what they're thinking about me. It's scary to be vulnerable.

    @Bryan - It took a long time to find that peace. I had a long road to travel and had to take a hard look at myself and admit that I was making some serious mistakes in how I was handling things. I was a hot mess. It's funny how hard we are on ourselves isn't it?

    @Al - Wow! That must've been an eyeopener to have found that letter! I can only imagine what I would've told myself back then. I was such a different person. Not even a shadow of my current self. And that's probably a good thing. haha Glad you're dressing better!

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  10. I don’t think all comes with such confident and belief in oneself fighting against offend rather keeping away and let end the relationship. You will remain an inspiration for those seeking remedy. Yes, I have felt alone and had let feeling bad for some time when I don’t know what happening within me is right or wrong, am I one among the others or distinct to be different. Now being conscious about many things, the feeling of guilt is no more and I am open to things and talk about what had restricting me then.

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  11. You were incredibly strong to write that letter to yourself to begin with. But if Devin hadn't been as committed to you and recovery as you are, it may not have had a happy ending. I'm glad that you both were willing to do the work!

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  12. Changed the reply? Your post just showed in the blogroll now, weird.

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  13. @Jeevan - It is good that you have found your own balance Jeevan and are no longer feeling guilty about things and no longer feeling alone. I love that you are aware and conscious of your feelings too. That also helps you maintain your balance. Wonderful!

    @JoJo - Thank you. I have to agree that if Devin hadn't stayed in a recovery, I wouldn't have stayed with him. I had to stay in a recovery for myself too, no matter if I stayed with him or not...for my own sanity. Otherwise, I'd still be a hot mess ;)

    @Pat - Blogger has been giving me a fit since the change over to https. I haven't been showing up in the blog rolls and have been working on debugging the error codes. Wish me luck!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.