Codependency

Surrender - my journey of letting go

Surrender - my journey of letting go

I started this post almost a year ago – I found it today in the dredges of my laptop – a stark reminder of how things can change so drastically yet, in many ways, remain poignantly the same. The lesson in humility is not lost here.

By all accounts I have had a good year; a lot has changed. I am learning, and settling in to my new life – I’ve started dating again and am in a fun, new relationship. My kids are doing well – we’re doing life together in a magnificent way.

Finding Your Grateful

Finding Your Grateful

She was grateful for the little things. Clean water in the glass in front of her. A nice meal on the table, even if the company was less than stellar - or rather less to her liking. She found joy in the situation because she was truly grateful for the things that were within her control, or within reach of her control.

Life had been tough up until this point, tough for a while anyway, not always, but tough enough lately. She learned to face each day by simply being grateful for what was right in front of her. Gas in the tank, a roof over her head, some money in the bank, and a few souls she could count on.

Can’t, Won’t, and Not Willing

Can’t, Won’t, and Not Willing

She wanted to quit her job. The work was ok she guessed, but the management was oppressive, and she wasn’t getting the opportunities and benefits she deserved. She was worth more, and if they couldn’t see it, then she would find a place that could.

I’m in Las Vegas this weekend. I’m here quite a bit lately, and as a girl who gave up drinking and doesn’t gamble, this is not necessarily an ideal destination. I am a seeker of peace and tranquility, it’s a stretch for me to hang here; but this season has served as a great place to watch and to observe some of my fellow humans. Plus, being here has given me the opportunity to nurture a budding relationship that has more merit than anything since my divorce. So, it’s what I’ve chosen right now.

Waking Up is Hard To Do…

Waking Up is Hard To Do…

I was a zombie before it was cool.

A card-carrying member of the walking dead – dead to my feelings, my pain ate me alive until there was nothing left but an empty shell. I had lost myself somewhere along the way.

I was talking to my therapist about childhood trauma I experienced at a young age and questioned her about the validity of such things – did everyone with this type of trauma grow into adulthood with this amount of pain?

She explained to me that when you’re a part of a healthy, functioning family unit you’re not afraid to talk about problems. Talking openly and working through problems is a part of how relationships work. She explained that in those situations, when abuse or some other trauma occurs, parents and caregivers are aware enough to know something is going on or the child feels safe enough to talk about it. When that happens, the problems are faced head on and dealt with. Saving the child and the entire family unit a lifetime of pain.

I knew in that moment I wanted to live like that.

Minimizing Bad Behavior

Minimizing Bad Behavior

He never came home when he said he would.... The facts never seemed to matter much when she was telling a story... The third drink made him intolerable to be around... Everybody knew he’d cop a feel if you got too close…She bullied everyone around her until she got what she wanted...

These situations, and many like it, run amuck all around us.

Why Dealing with Your Pain Will Save Your Life

Why Dealing with Your Pain Will Save Your Life

Sometimes people aren't very nice. Or rather they're not considerate and intentional with their words and the implications of such. 

People are hurting. And hurt people hurt people.

It really is that simple. 

How many tears have I cried over these things? How many have a held back?  Stoic -  as they begin to eat me alive from the inside out. 

Stepping Out of Codependency

Stepping Out of Codependency

The room was dark, and my head spinning as I listened to the clock silently tick its way toward dawn. Why did I feel the way I did? I was confused all the time. A constant struggle to attain ‘rightness’ with the people and the world around me, a fight that was pointless, and failing with each attempt. It was keeping me up at night and it was slowly killing me.

Dysfunction, addiction, and codependent relationships are all a part of my story – they are a part of many of our stories.

The Power to Win

The Power to Win

I have a love/hate relationship with my inbox.

This morning, as I analyzed its contents (which sits around 500 or so messages, even with twice daily purging), about half (more than half?) of what’s in there are useless distractions – of what’s left, about half are the things of obligation – stuff that needs my attention because I am a human living in this world.

Among the rest are a few nuggets of gold mixed in with reminders of some things that are going my way – as well as some things that are not. Some of the messages are encouraging, others confrontational. In there today, is a note from an old friend that brought a smile to my face. But I have also had moments where that inbox has grown arms and punched me right in the gut. Funny, how a simple message can elicit such emotion.

Three Things the Women in Your Life Need (But Won’t Tell You)

Three Things the Women in Your Life Need (But Won’t Tell You)

Last week, I wrote about Why Your Wife is So Mad. I’ll be honest, it irritated some people (and it wasn’t your wife). It was called feminist BS, among other things. Funny, as I’ve never really considered myself a feminist necessarily. Meaning, I’m not pro-female as much as I’m pro-people and pro- healthy relationships. And pro- deal with your stuff so you can be a better human -kind of gal.  So, if that makes me a feminist bullshitter, then um, ok I guess. 

But I digress:

This is the Reason Your Wife is So Mad

This is the Reason Your Wife is So Mad

Ok guys, this one’s for you.

I get a lot of mail and comments from men who struggle in their marriages or have recently gotten divorced. These guys are looking for material, groups, and the like focusing on their needs during relational turmoil. I tell them I can’t really speak to all of that, because I’m not a guy. They express severe lack of resource, both online and in a general understanding within our population – I can’t disagree.

Universal truths about relationship are essentially gender neutral. I can see thier point. But still, I’m not a guy.

So…Let’s unpack this and get real.

Embracing Your Resurrection Moments

Embracing Your Resurrection Moments

Love and death and waiting and new life. It is the Easter season. I think a lot about these things during this time of year and as such have found myself in a state of melancholy over the past few days.

There has been death – both around me and in me. I am in a transition, another shift of my being. This fills me with excitement and a little disappointment – as I always envisioned my next new thing being dovetailed into a new relationship.

But sometimes the change that needs to happen within you comes in ways you least expect. That’s when you know you’re on to something good.

The Lies We Believe: Love = Acceptance

The Lies We Believe: Love = Acceptance

Last week we talked about the lie of control and how holding on and attempting to take over is how we push away the very thing that is meant for us.

This week, we’ll skim the surface about love and acceptance. Because, you know, I’m keeping it light.

I have always been fascinated by love. Romantic love, the love we have for our children, our pets – the things we love – the love of a higher power - all of it.

What is love?

The Lies We Believe: I Must Take Control

The Lies We Believe: I Must Take Control

What we believe to be true about ourselves and the world around us shapes our future. This month, I'm exploring the lies we believe: about ourselves; about others; about the world around us - and how these lies impact us and our relationships.

 My grass is dead.

The irrigation system was leaking and so I turned it off to check and see what was going on – which would have been fine, except that I forgot about it and then I was gone most of March. And so now, the grass it dead. Not that it was looking all that great before any of this happened. But I’ll tell you, it sure isn’t looking good now. I’ve decided gardening and yard work really aren’t ‘my thing.’

I’m moving and I don’t know where or when exactly.

The stress of starting a business has sparked my habit of late-night snacking. This has led to a weight gain of about 5 (10?) pounds - not enough to sink me, but enough that my shorts don’t fit quite right. I haven’t had to worry about my weight for a long time, and I’m disappointed in myself – I don’t want to fall into old patterns of self-destruction. Because as it turns out, emotional eating is ‘my thing.’

Shutting Down Our Hearts

Shutting Down Our Hearts

I was in my 30’s when I began to notice. Living life going through the motions, I wasn’t feeling, couldn’t feel much of anything. Good or bad. I was hardly alive – my heart was shut down and I was a member of the walking dead. In my divorce group this week, we talked a little bit about how and why we shut down our hearts. The response was so positive, I wanted to share some things with you here as well. I challenged the group this week to look closely and see if there was any place in them that might be shut down. If you’re up for it, I’ll set the same challenge to you.

We shut down our hearts to avoid pain.

No, You’re Not Crazy… It Might Be Gaslighting

No, You’re Not Crazy… It Might Be Gaslighting

Feeling crazy in a relationship? The problem might not be you - you might be experiencing gaslighting.  Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse where the victim is left questioning and doubting their own feelings and sanity. Gaslighting is a power play for the perpetrator to gain control over the victim. 

I recorded a video for my Divorcing Well FB group, which you can see here.

I'm For You (The Real Love Story)

I'm For You (The Real Love Story)

It was the end of the line. She found herself in an impossible situation and everything had to change. All of it. Every single bit. Some caused by her own mistakes some by the mistakes of others but it didn’t matter because it was all impacting her; and now she was the one who had to make the tough decisions.

One -by- one her friends began to fade away, distancing themselves from a nasty situation for fear that some of her misfortune rub off.

When Love Doesn’t Look Like Love: My Choice to Stop Enabling

When Love Doesn’t Look Like Love: My Choice to Stop Enabling

I couldn’t do it anymore.

What do you want to do?

I don’t want to pick up his pieces any longer – I don’t want to continue to clean up the mess from his bad decisions. But I also don’t want to hurt him – and I know he’ll be very hurt (and angry) if I stop.

I didn’t think I should knowingly do things that would disappoint my husband, but instead go along to get along. Values that were taught in my family – they were taught in my church, taught in my community. Peacekeeping was valued over peacemaking and real, authentic relationship.

Yes, he will be hurt – and he’ll feel like you’re abandoning him.

Well, aren’t I?

Yes, you will be essentially.

But the real crime was that I abandoned myself many years prior.

The 5 Most Powerful Words in Any Relationship

The 5 Most Powerful Words in Any Relationship

There was a knock at the door.

 ‘Um, Sara. What is going on?’ – I am making a shift in my life and I hadn’t discussed it with him yet.  If I’m being honest, I’ve been avoiding discussing it with him. Avoiding is my thing and it’s easy to justify when you have kids and a life and a big shift that steals your attention.

My dad likes to tell me what to do and I’m not the kind of person who particularly likes being told what to do. We’re both stubborn that way. When he is unsure of the soundness of my decisions, he’s been known to invite me for a friendly lunch or dinner, ‘let’s have dinner at the club tonight…’ where half way through the meal he’ll gently mention, ‘well, you know I’m a little concerned….’  Ah, there it is…

How I’m Taking My Power Back in 2017. And How You Can Too…

How I’m Taking My Power Back in 2017. And How You Can Too…

I don’t do resolutions.

But, it’s 2-0-1-7 and I’m taking a basic inventory. How am I feeling? About my physical and emotional health? About my relationships? About my parenting? What do I want to know and understand more clearly about myself? About the people and the world around me?

What gives me that feeling of dread? What keeps me up at night?

Am I brave enough to face these things?

I’ve noticed a pattern in my behavior recently.

Finding Hope in the New Year

Finding Hope in the New Year

“Go home, 2016 – you’re drunk.” I love reading The Skimm every morning. They do a great job of reporting what’s happening in the world in a relevant and entertaining way. That was a quote from a few months ago, I’ve held on to – funny, because it’s true.