Thursday, May 1, 2014

Chapter Three: Devastation, Part XVI: January 2010

Please begin reading my divorce memoir from the beginning.

January 30, 2010

So today I went to Women’s Conference at the stake center. Our stake president spoke and the first thing he said he learned about marriage is “Happy Wife—Happy Life.”

Ha. Ha. The joke is on me.

I took a class on Managing Challenging Behaviors. It was meant for me—truly. It was given by a licensed therapist; I don’t know her exact credentials.

I jotted down the things I learned: and how I feel about the things I learned:

She said, Opposition is a certainty in life. The challenges are Beliefs vs. Reality—what we want and what is.

I think what I want is a happy family and marriage, so I’ve been pretending I have one. I want to keep it status quo for the kids, but, I’m so tired of pretending. I’m tired of being sick physically and sick at heart. What is is a messed up way of life. I think there has to be a paradigm shift in my thinking. I have to start acknowledging that my marriage is a mess; it’s not that eternal-family-happy-marriage I tried to build.

Challenges can bring on chronic stress, i.e. headaches, stomach upset, poor sleep, poor concentration. I’m the poster child for all of that.

Over time it gets harder to cope. I’m about done with it.

She said, either reduce the challenge or increase coping—autoimmune diseases happen when you are not able to cope anymore. I guess I haven’t been able to cope for quite some time now;1995 was my diagnosis with fibromyalgia and 2006 was my diagnosis with lupus.

She said a positive sign of stress and challenges is that we are motivated to do something to feel more competent. When we feel competent, we are more relaxed and satisfied. Am I supposed to be motivated to do something this time? Patsy, do you have to be kicked in the head?

It is not possible to “grow” without stress. We can’t be happy if we’re not growing, however, compulsion is coping gone wild. Who does that remind me of?

Then she said something very profound. I wonder if this is the answer to my prayers.


I have stayed in my marriage this long for security. I’m afraid to be on my own. However, if I leave, I might be happy. If I leave, I will be so free—free from being yelled at, blamed, raged at, confused, resentful, sick . . .betrayed.

Sometimes we give up joy for security. I see that I have.

She said be willing to risk to feel great, instead of just okay. Was this the answer to my prayer? I have been afraid to risk? Afraid to change my life?

Challenges can be good or hurtful—depending on what we choose to do with them. So far all mine have been hurtful. Maybe this is my last chance to do something about it. Even Jerry  admitted it’s not the last straw, but the last “anvil” for me—his words, not mine.

We present ourselves at our Sunday best. It’s what I’ve always done since childhood. I am so tired of pretending. I want to just tell everyone I’ve been lying all these years! It’s a lie! It’s a lie!

Challenges are part of a healthy, happy life.

Conflict—How to Solve—Proverbs 23:9 paraphrased: Start each day as a day God has given you; as a gift that is good and pure. “The soul that you have given me is pure.”

The instructor used the metaphor of a window. Are my windows clean? Can I see clearly or are they muddy and need to be cleaned?

Do I want to keep what’s on my window or clean it up?

If you accept a derogatory comment, check your reality. Oh, boy, that’s me—so accepting.

Accept that there’s going to be pain. Yeah, that’s me all over—in pain, in more ways than one.

There is logical, reasonable thinking, and there’s emotional thinking. Both should be combined into “wise” thinking.

“Tolerate the suffering and change, or remove yourself from the suffering.”  I have been thinking of getting away from here for a week or two. I have been thinking of leaving permanently. What would that involve? Moving. Where? Staying here or moving somewhere else entirely? I have a job. Could I get a job elsewhere?

If it involves sin, the only way out is repentance—get your window cleaned. Does he feel repentant? I think he only feels sorry for himself. He doesn’t think what he did was that bad and he thinks it was justified because I told him I didn’t love him anymore.

Hello! Red flag—something needs to be fixed, not maimed even more. You don’t have an affair before you get divorced. You get divorced first, then start another relationship—he knows that. And then he blames her and calls her a psychopath. Like that’s supposed to justify what he did. Is any of this his fault?

Do you want to keep the pain, or resolve it?  I want it resolved. But I think I’m going to have to leave to have peace of mind ever again in my life.

Sometimes we need to reduce our reactability/vulnerability by getting away from it. That’s what I’m thinking. I need to get away. I might need to stay away.

Then she said to change pain. Act as if . . . If you’re not happy, act as if you are.

Sorry, lady. That is denial—and that’s what I’ve been doing for 32 years . . .no more of that, thank you.

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