Even a Week in Paradise Doesn’t Fix This

4/8/99 Dear J,

What a day, it started out raining during my much-needed walk this morning, but it really started when S came by waking me up with a back rub. Unfortunately, what he really wanted was to make love, which I didn’t. I really hoped that he would try harder and want to change and become my partner, friend, support, etc. I’m not sure that is possible though. I really need someone to help me heal, to teach me how to accept my past pain, sorrow, and anger. Is that person my current therapist? Should I use an antidepressant? Maybe with S out of the house all I need is a good therapist who will help me learn coping techniques and not use drugs to cure me? I am possibly more like my sister than I ever thought. Her way of life sounds good to me. I couldn’t believe that she remembered taking me to Al-A-Non so long ago, that S used to hit me then. Why did I put up with it for so long? Why don’t I feel I deserve any happiness? Please keep sending good people my way. I love to grow and learn. I need to be around supportive coworkers and friends. I enjoy my luncheon today; it felt good to talk frankly with another adult. Please keep working closely in my life. Keep my anger at bay and allow me methods and ways to relieve my depression and stress.

All my love, R

Positive Pray to God

My house in Connecticut is sold.

I am organized and centered at work.

I am the best possible mother for my kids.

I am in the best physical and mental state of my life.

I have a loving, kind, peaceful, God leading my life.

I will fall in love with a supportive and loving man someday.

Amen


Dear R,

Life is often a gentle but consistent teacher. Being a single mom and working full-time, I expect that you feel depressed and overwhelmed at times. It is important to remember each day that love and compassion come from within yourself. Try to imagine the eyes of someone who loves you very deeply and completely, then step into that person and look back upon yourself. What do you see? I see a brave, strong woman doing her best each and every day. Please remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Yes, your sister, V is a wonderful power of example for you; she gave up drugs and alcohol years ago and is one person you can count on. More and more will be revealed as you let go of old coping skills, like pot and alcohol, and you start to listen to who you are under all of that pain.

Love, Your Wisest Self


4/10/99 Dear J,

Thank you for this day. It was hard seeing S so unhappy, but my hope is that he will grow up. I firmly believe that S is depressed and goes through cycles of depression, which seems to answer the question; Why is he never happy? He will get a new toy (a motorcycle or snowmobile) and he’ll seem happy and fulfilled and will be very easy to live with for a short time, but then it ends, seemingly sudden and his mood turns dark, mean, bleak. I’m so glad that I asked him to move out. It sucks to hurt him, but I really needed it this way so I could feel some calm, peace, and joy in my life. I’ve learned so much and have grown so much since I moved to Vermont and asked a higher power to lead my life. I ask that you lead me to the right choices when it comes to therapy for me, and finding the best lawyer for my case, in the upcoming months. Let me find children’s books for M; something that will help her to understand all this crazy stuff going on about divorce. Guide me at tomorrow’s conference about building language skills for children with Down syndrome, for my B.

All my love, R


Dear R,

I love the way you are always searching for answers for your children and for yourself. The power of change always lies in your hands and no one else’s. It’s up to S to make his changes and it’s up to you to make your changes. Remember to first connect to what you are feeling and then use your Time For You app to connect to the missing universal needs being called for. I am guessing that you want to be seen for your intentions and that you need understanding, acceptance, and love. Why don’t you make a plan to take some time for yourself, to walk or read? It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to change someone else that we often forget the person who needs us most is right in front of us, ourselves. Learning to take Time Out for Time In is an important part of growth and evolution.

Love, Your Wisest Self


4/11/99 Dear J,

It is so peaceful at night once the kids are in bed. I’m enjoying taking care of myself, reading, writing, taking a bath, etc. I was upset that S found my journal, but maybe that was supposed to be. His letter is confusing; he still blames me for everything and acts like I can make it better. I can’t. I can only hope to make it better for myself and for my kids. He has to grow up and get help for himself if he wants to win my love back. That is ONE thing I know for sure! Well, after that we had an interesting visit. S’s very upset with his situation and is actually thinking of becoming a straight, normal adult person. It’s a pretty scary thought for him and me both. I would need to learn how to treat him like an adult. I can only hope and pray that he will want to be in a loving, caring two-way relationship with me. I would like to pray on that one. We have decided to go to Aruba together for our 10-year anniversary, a free week from my sister-in-laws parents. I worry that it will just be another band aide, but I can’t resist a free tropical vacation. As for today, thank you such a wonderful speaker at the conference. I was so blessed to have B’s teacher and aide from school attend. I think they were impressed and learned a lot about teaching B to read and learn sign language. I hope that you can help us carry forward with these ideas so that someday we will ask B to be “Quiet!” What a miracle that would be!

All my love, R


Dear R,

It’s upsetting that S can’t seem to respect your privacy. I hear your hope that he will want to change and go about taking next steps. Remember that his perspective is very different than yours, which is why his letter is so confusing. He knows what to say to pull you back in. A textbook definition of codependency is “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.” So I suggest you wait and see if his words and actions start to match. You no longer have to “take care of him.” He is an adult, not your child. Remember why you asked him to leave in the first place? Codependency has many parts to it and we often feel tangled and “to blame.” One of the many things we have learned from Nonviolent Communication is that we often only have two ways to “hear” others: Hear Blame and Blame Self or Hear Blame and Blame Others. You and S do this dance well. He blames you and you blame yourself. In NVC we learn that there are 2 additional ways of Hearing: Hear Blame and Give Self Empathy or Hear Blame and Give the Other Person Empathy. The best way to give empathy is to guess what you are feeling and what that points to in the way of unmet needs. Once you have done that, you may want to try to guess what the other person was feeling and needing. It is a wonderful process and takes us out of the traditional world of blaming and shaming. You may practice this yourself with the Time For You app.

I’m glad you are getting support teaching B. It’s such a struggle to communicate with him and I know how creative you have been. Some days I imagine it’s a full time job just supporting B and advocating for him in school. I glad your needs for support, hope, and clarity were met when his teacher and aide joined you at the conference.

Love, Your Wisest Self


4/28/99 Dear J,

Sorry I haven’t written in so long. It has been a busy few weeks. S saw a counselor, C, who told him to get an alcohol and drug evaluation and started him on St. John’s Wort and Kava for his depression and anxiety. We went to Aruba and tried to be a loving couple. We even had a romantic start, then quickly learned that drinking ruined it for both of us. I found that even in a tropical paradise I didn’t want to be with him. I explained to him how walking and praying could help alleviate the stress and depression on a daily basis. What I learned is that we are both two very hurt people and we need a higher power’s love and support to save our family and ourselves. I pray that S learns to be honest with himself and please help me to keep calm, centered, and to finally grow up.

All my love, R


Dear R,

I love that you are accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. It is hard to realize that “quick” fixes just don’t work. It is a lesson that is often hard to learn because we are immersed in a culture that promotes the quick fix, “Lose 30 pounds in a week, Try this _______ and your life will be better.” It is all around us in the marketing, on television and the internet. The realization that you are both in pain and have different strategies to alleviate your pain is a great awareness. For so long, nicotine, alcohol or pot was your first choice, and now you are learning to take walks, talk to a loving God, reach out to healthy friends and read books about codependency and self-help. These are all great next steps towards “growing up” as you say. So often the age we first started using any mind or mood altering substance on a regular basis is the emotional age where we can get “stuck,” but as soon as we stop the substances and start taking healthy steps we’ve started the maturation process following a natural order of personal and psychological development. It has only been about 5 months since you gave up your first substance, nicotine since age 11. Look how far you have come! Keep on doing what you are doing and self-love and compassion will start to become the norm instead of the exception.

Love, Your Wisest Self