Radical Acceptance

I have been reading a book called Radical Acceptance-Embracing Your Life With The Heart of a Buddha by Tara Branch, Ph.D. It has amazed me.

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One of my issues over these last four years of heartbreak and betrayal has been resisting the experience I have had. I have wanted the situation to be something other than what it has been and have denied what was in front of me in order to give the benefit of the doubt or see B in the way he used to be but refused to view him for who he has become. I thought I was doing myself a favor trying to save my family the trauma of divorce when all I really did was just delay it.

And herein lies the problem. Resistance to what IS causes trouble for your body, heart and soul. It creates misery, health problems, and unnecessary suffering. It has made me physically ill. The last four years have probably taken ten years off my life and one reason centers around resisting what was in front of me instead of accepting what was. Given enough time I believed… I could change it…I could minimize it… and I could make B love me again…but of course, I couldn’t.

In her book, Branch advocates using guided meditation techniques and in this case something she calls exploring the POWER OF YES. During this exercise the author suggestions sitting in a quiet place, breathing deeply and closing your eyes. Then she asks you to bring to mind something in your life or a situation that produces strong reactions like sadness, anger or fear. She then asks you to access what it is about the situation that provokes the strongest feelings and be mindful of how that feeling feels in throughout your body…your chest or your stomach of any other place that you may feel tighten or get hard.

Then, and I quote from her book:

“In order to see firsthand what happens when you resist experience, begin experimenting with saying NO. As you connect with the pain you feel in the situation you have chosen, mentally direct a stream of no at the feelings….as you say no, notice what this resistance feels like in your body.” p87

So I followed her instructions  and immediately began to feel so stressed that I began to feel ill. My stomach clenched so hard that I felt nauseous. My head started pounding and my chest felt tight making the air flow to my lungs decrease. It was awful now that I was really paying attention to the reactions my feelings were provoking. How I had lived for all these years saying NO to my grief, NO to my anger and NO to my sadness? More importantly did I want to feel this NO for four more years, four more months, or even four more days? Obviously, the answer was NO.  Now that I was aware of and could really feel the impact that this denial or resistance to my emotions was having on my physical body I knew I could no longer live this way.

This now lead me to the second part of the authors meditation. After directing NO at your emotions she asks you to once again think about that painful situation and to remember the words, beliefs, and feelings that are associated with it. But this time stream the word YES. Say YES to the words, the thoughts and the beliefs that come forward.

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Upon doing this part of the mediation I immediately felt a shift… a lightness and lifting of the unpleasantness that I was feeling. My chest loosened, my nauseau disappeared and my mind became quiet… no longer racked in pain. And with this YES to the experience came an acceptance. It was not an acceptance that what B did to me was okay. It was an acceptance of this is what has happened. You can’t change it nor can you fight it and more importantly I didn’t need to rally against it anymore. As I allowed these non-judgmental YESES to come forth, I felt a release of some of the burdens, anger, anxiety and fears that I had been living with begin diminish as a gentle form of acceptance began to soothe those less than pleasant emotions. I found I could just BE and did not have to react both physically and mentally to all the emotions that I was feeling about the affair or my impending divorce. Finally, I felt a sense of peace.

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So this is how I start my day. Saying YES. Accepting what is. Finding understanding where I could not before and I feel good. My chronic pain has decreased and I find more joy. Sure I am still struggling but the struggle doesn’t defeat me. It has just become a small part of my life instead of the epic saga it once was. And for that I am thankful.

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Mish-Mash

Today’s post is going to be a little like how my brain is reacting these days…a total mish-mash of ideas, art, photos and whatever else happens to come along.

I wanted to share this from last year. It was taken near Yosemite National Park. Sometimes the majesty of a creature just stops you dead in your tracks.

In other areas of my life…my garden is just lovely. The hummingbirds are going crazy as the flit from flower to flower. While I love the flowers I have to confess I hate the weeding and unfortunately doing it in 90+ degree weather doesn’t motivate me in the least.

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In other news, I went to pick up one of my kids and saw this

A Ford Econoline Van. That sure brought back memories. The year was 1977 and my first husband and I were traveling across country from Florida to California. I was so young I didn’t drive yet so he did it all. Just as we crossed into Ca on a foggy mountain pass he started hallucinating due to lack of sleep. We were almost killed by a semi but it was enough for him to get his shit together and keep driving. These were my hippie days and I was with him for seven years.  Several years later I met B and that is when this oddessy of 31 + years of a marriage began and is now ending.

One thing: B and I sat down to discuss splitting our assets. He told me he will not be going to try to get his father’s inheritance returned to him and that we will split everything 50-50. I hope this is the one thing he is telling the truth about but I am reluctant to believe him after these four years of lies. Frankly, I don’t know if he even knows how to tell the truth anymore. Yesterday, I told him that after he moves out that we should maybe have one night as family night where we all get together and eat but other than that I am no longer feeding him. He is trying to stay close to me and I know that it is not in my best interest. Last night I said I was going for a walk and he asked to join me. I told him NO and that I thought it would be best if I began to not rely on his presence so much and that he didn’t need to call me during the day anymore either. I think it will be for the best but it seems to be hard for him to do…too bad.

This is my latest piece of artwork that I did for my therapist. I tell you I am amazed how doing this allows my feelings to be felt and bypass the possible sting of my words.

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And this I call temptation

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Well, that is it for today. Hope you have a great day filled with joy and many blessings.

 

 

 

It Has Been A Tough Week

This has been a tough week. Okay…not all of it. The Ritz was not tough. The massages were not tough. Seeing my friend for dinner…not tough. But when I arrived home…MEGA TOUGH.

So when I got home B was his usual distant self, which starts my anxiety climbing. Then yesterday I get a call from Paul’s work. He has collapsed. So I have been at the hospital almost non-stop since as they concentrate on his heart and ordered every test in the book. Except for today when I went to B’s house and continued to help him paint.

You will recall over a month ago he wrote on our mirror I choose you and sent Vietnam girl and goodbye letter. Of course he has done this before and has had a four year virtual affair with her (except for when the met up in in Singapore)

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Then last week he told me he was just going to sell this house he was working on so he wouldn’t not have a place to go and just be tempted to quit our marriage. The next day he came home and we talked about this possible job that he was going after in Texas and he wanted me to come. I told him that I could not come unless:

  1. We got divorced in CA first as Texas laws were not favorable to me
  2. Or that we draw up a contract stating that we would follow CA law should we divorce.

The next day B told me that he decided to keep his house. He decided that he would because “I don’t trust him” as evidenced by above statements regarding a move to Texas.

Fine. I continued to help paint his house because I am a nice woman, knowing all along that he was planning to move into it when it was done despite insisting that he was not and he only wanted to be with me.

So today, after spending time with Paul at the hospital, I swung by B’s house and he asked if I could help paint as the new carpet and floors are being laid starting Monday. Sure I said and went and painted the master bath. I already had painted his laundry room, part of his hallway, a bedroom and part of the living room. I think that is darn nice, don’t you/

As I was about to leave to told B about a conversation Paul and I had and that Paul was worried that B would be moving into his house instead of staying put with us. I told him that he should talk to Paul about it and that if he was planning to move he should just say so and not hurt our kids by going back and forth while sending them mixed signals.

“You are moving there, right? I asked.

“Yes, I am. I think we need a separation.”

“That is so great. You are doing exactly what I needed you to do for the divorce. Thank you.” And I want over and have him a big kiss and hug.

“Oh and I don’t think we need a separation I think we need a divorce.”

He just stood there with his mouth hanging open as I walked happily out the door.

And I feel great and these last weeks I have bought myself time as I gathered papers for the divorce. AND in the state of CA since I threw him out previously, I could have been responsible for half of his living expenses but now that the house is his and he could move in…that possibility is no longer a burden.

And while sad, I also feel a little lighter. My heart doesn’t hurt.

Tonight we actually sat down and starting dividing assets and it felt good.

Of course, B wanted me to know he had decided to move into his house because I wanted everything my way.

“Can you give me an example of what you mean?”

“Yes, I told you we needed to combine our money and our assets and you wouldn’t.”

True. Never will again either. Don’t want the Vietnam woman to ever be able to get her hands on that.

“And just because I am taking a 5 day hiking trip you felt entitled to take a longer trip of your own.”

Oh, the trip to escort my daughter to her swim camp across the country and then go visit for 2 days with my 83 year old father who I haven’t seen in two years…. You are right…I am definitely unreasonable. GEEZ.

And that’s when I told him that I knew that this was the eventual outcome a long time ago after reading an article that said that there were four outcomes from affairs but the one that no one ever recovered from is when the person who had the affair continues to blame the innocent party for their dastardly deeds. So because at one point in our marriage I yelled he had to go out and have an affair. End of story. It is my fault and always will be in his mind. But I KNOW it isn’t all my fault and you know it is not too. Frankly that is all that matters.  And while I know the next couple of weeks will be tough I know they will never be s tough as living with a man who has lied and cheated on me almost every day for the psst four years and did his best to make me feel like shit about myself. And while he came close to succeeding…he did not. For I have survived and I have grown. I no longer yell and have gotten closer to my children. They of course have suffered and it has brought Andre’s autism out further into the open.

But now I am finally ready. Scared but strong. Weak but oh so brave. I gave it my best and lost the war anyway but gained myself. So bring it on world. I am here and waiting. And this time I FUCKING WELL MEAN IT.

 

 

Away Time-Leaving The Affair Behind

Things really could not be much crazier at home. This week, when asked, B told me that if he found out he had cancer he would:

  1. Spend time with the kids and me
  2. Spend time with his siblings
  3. Go to Vietnam to see affair woman

I told him that is good to know and that I have a suggestion… why doesn’t he go now?Make himself happy. Stop the madness. Make all of his crazy…I’ve slept with this woman once and know her so well… dreams come true.

“I can’t go”

“Why not?”

“I have you and the kids. A job. Responsibilities.”

“Who cares. Just go. Be happy. Here is the deal…you take 25% of our assets plus we set aside a travel fund for the kids to be able to come see you. You can live like a king in Vietnam for the rest of your life. I get the rest of the assets to put the kids  through college, pay healthcare, and support them the rest of their lives. We both end up happy and you can be with (as he has called her) his ONE TRUE LOVE.”

“Really? You would do that?”-I haven’t seen him this excited in months. I thought he might wet his pants.

Next Day:

When asked when he would be leaving.

“It isn’t practical. I want to be with you.”

Geez…what loving and practical words. Makes a woman just melt. Yes, please whisper those sweet nothings in my ear again. Of course this is only the 100th time I have heard that he wants us to be together, he wants our family together, he loves me and he wants to be with me since I discovered the affair wasn’t over in April.

I also have to wonder if he might be a tiny bit afraid that she doesn’t LOVE him as much as he thinks and may be a tad concerned that she likes him for his money (and mine) which he sent to her to the tune of wayyyyy over $30,000. Yes, more than we have put away for our kids college funds.

Anyway, needless to say, I am weary and tired of this crap/limbo/chaos so for the last two days I have done something I have never done before. I have spent an outrageous amount of money on myself. As I type, I am sitting in my hotel room at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Tahoe. Before you get too jealous…don’t! This hotel has sucked.

  1. I arrive and my room is not ready for over an hour
  2. Instead of just taking my bag to my room they ask if I would like any help getting my bag to the room
  3. I arrive only to find out there are no snacks that you can buy in the entire hotel except one box of CLIFF bars at one of the shops. I had not eaten all day…I am in a luxury hotel and there is nothing to eat except restaurant food at $28 for a quesadilla. REALLY NO FUCKING SNACKS… and the nearest town is 5 miles away.
  4. The coffee shop that I later found out does have a few snacks… closes at 11 a.m.
  5. I can’t get a Malibu cocktail because “our restaurant is high end and we don’t have that in here.”
  6. The bar closes at 9 p.m. I guess light night toddies are frowned upon
  7. I bought a Noosa yogurt that I can purchase in the grocery store for $2.29 and the coffee shop charged me $12 FKING DOLLARS. I didn’t know that was the price until it was already charged to my room because you can bet your life I never would have bought the FKING THING.

I could go on. And while I realize this is petty in the scheme of things and I sound like a spoiled bitch..  please remember for a mom with two special needs kids and a husband who is going off the deep end; I didn’t need ANY MORE stress in my life and the Ritz added to it instead of taking it away. The way I see it is for the money I am spending… it turns out I would have much preferred staying at a Holiday Inn Express where I would knowingly been expected to haul my own bag to my room and there is a small readily available stash of snacks for purchase in the lobby.

On the plus side…the two massages I have had were wonderful as was the sauna. I will say the spa was very nice and relaxing UNTIL I found out that the spa automatically tacks on a gratuity for the spa attendants of 23%. Frankly, I like to determine my own tips thank you very much. And I owe big thanks you’s to Kristen, Kathleen and Michael for their great service.

Okay but enough of this bitching. I know I am fortunate and I should not complain esp. when I have two days alone without the chaos of home life. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I am dreading check out as i suspect  that when get the bill my mood will darken considerably and all that lost stress will return with a vengeance. But until then, I leave you with some pictures of the area…I will send you a bill for them later. For if you are staying the Ritz you might as well treat everyone else like they are too. And so dear Reader this is for you.

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Nightmare-A 10 Minute Poem Challenge

Not today

Will things go your way

For I stand strong

After so many wrongs

You think you know me

But you don’t know my:

Resolve

Spirit

Truth

You don’t know:

Who you have forced me to become

Who I am finding again

And the beauty of all I possess

You think that forgiveness is the answer

But forgiveness lies in:

Truth and

Consistency

Over Time

You have not proved yourself to me

I am not sure that you ever can

Because until you take full responsibility

For the havoc you have wrought

For the pain you have caused

For the tranquility you have shattered

And stop blaming me for reasons

You use to justify your affair

Until you look at yourself

Your past

And who you really are

vs. who you think you should be

You are living a fantasy

While I am living your nightmare

I want to wake up

Please, someone wake me up

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Manipulations and Lies

Every time I move forward on the divorce front B begs that we stay together. On Thursday he came home and said he was going to sell his new house so that there would be no temptations to run there when things are not “perfect” because you know after a betrayal of four years everything has to be “perfect” so we get along. He will sell the house and wants to be with us.

On Saturday during conversation he states that he is keeping his house. The reason; He is looking a a new job in Texas. After looking at divorce laws and in particular  alimony laws in Texas;

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I told him that if he wanted to all move down there to keep our family together in the same area I would either:

A. Want to get divorced in CA first in order to protect me and the kids

B. Have a contract written up which would grant us the same alimony/divisions that would occur in CA

Needless to say, this is now the reason he is keeping his house. “You don’t trust me. You never have our entire 30+ years.” And “You threw me out of our house. I will never be homeless again.”

Geez…. I wonder if your behavior for the past four years has anything to do with it. I wonder if finding out you were still communicating with girl friend was a direct contributor to that? Take responsibility man.

In addition, several times a week he says that he wants me to put his name on my house so we can “be together.”  I keep saying no. Not interested. He keeps saying he wants the relationship to work but it cannot as long as his name is not on the house. He doesn’t feel comfortable.

I wonder how couples who have been betrayed in such a way ever return to a loving relationship. It is obvious that we cannot. Probably not even be friends. How do they do it, I wonder?

This is so hard. I am so tired.I keep moving slowly towards November 20th the day our divorce is set.

Today I made him an offer. You leave and go to Vietnam to be with your “true love” IHN and you get 25% of our assets and I get the rest to raise our children on and I will be totally responsible for any of their expenses. He could live like a king with all that money over there for the rest of his life. He could quit his job and all the stress would be gone. He would like to do it except for the children. Fine we will put together a travel fund so they can visit when they want. Yes…this is the man who swears he wants to be with me and our family but is seriously contemplating  my proposal.

One foot in front of the other. That is all I have the strength for at this point. One step at a time.