Monday, February 25, 2013

Mr. Scabs Letter

vintage radios

The following is a letter Mr. Scabs wrote to himself for therapy.  He agreed to share it will all of you.
I can be persuasive.


Please deliver November 20, 2010 8:00 am

Dear Self,
I know what you are thinking & planning on doing. I know you think in terms of instant gratification & somehow you feel like you deserve this. I understand how hard you work & I'm grateful for that but please, please STOP & consider what you're about to influence.  

Your decision now will impact so much more than you realize. I wish you could take advise.  I wish you could learn from others mistakes & take council to heart.  Mom & Dad have spent countless hours praying & pleading for you to fulfill your potential. The woman you love & that has looked past your insecurities is about to be devastated & put through more pain than any woman ought to endure. 

You have made some pretty bad decisions over your marriage.  They all scream selfishness & I'm the only one that matters.  I'm more than ashamed & sometimes overwhelmed with the wake of destruction that you have pulled being you.   Why couldn't you just be satisfied with the great life you had been given?  Why did you not go to your wife when you had issues?  It makes me sad.

With all of that being said,  I would like to offer some insight that I have learned through all of your mess.  

#1  People love & care about you. Through all of the difficult times that lay ahead there is always someone saying "you can do it!" Through all your crap, Ms. Scabs is always there waiting for you to confide & open up & love you.  You have so many good examples, friends, support and tools within your reach. .... please, please just reach out. You are not alone.   

#2  The Atonement is real. Through 12 step addiction recovery (or the atonement in increments) you have only begun to learn the magnificent sacrifice Christ made for you so that you could clean up your life & repair things that never seemed possible to repair.  

#3  You have everything you need to be happy.  You have a beautiful family, a beautiful wife who has stuck by you during very dark times and is willing to be with you and work toward becoming one.  You have 2 beautiful children who adore you and look up to you. Please don't jeopardize everything with your justification.  

#4  Life is short.  We're here to grow and make mistakes and then to repent and make changes and be better. 

I love you and a whole bunch of people also love you. I believe in you and know you can overcome this addiction & the trials in your life. Please don't be afraid to reach out when the going gets tough. Remember who you are even when no ones watching you.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Anonymous Reader Question

Diana Ross at Studio 54
Diana Ross: credit

February 19, 2012

Question: "It takes so little to please you.  Why?"

Dear Anonymous,

This question, like a drum, has been pounding with each step I take.  A rhythm.  It's been weeks since you typed your question, here, and hit submit. When I read them, the words starred at me, stinging off the screen.  Hinting at the alternate choices surrounding me.

The answer didn't come and the tempo began to surge inside me.  The drum pounded as I waited to pay for my groceries.  It throbbed as I cheered my daughter on at softball try outs.  I pulsed in my chest as I ran around the block, banging on my cortex demanding an answer.  Why? Why? Why?  Why?

The answer came to me today.

I opened an email, it was a voice from the past.  An old college friend wrote, "I've got some sad news.  James took his life Sunday night.  I don't know any of the details but thought you'd want to know.  His funeral is Friday.  He was a good man."

My life crossed with James’s for just a minute.  A blip.  A summer, while I was a kid at college.  I’m not sure he’d even remember me.  I was just a friend of a friend but I remember him.  He did something for me I will never forget.  This news instantly brought me back to that clear memory I have of James.

One college summer, I was at a party.  The house was packed and the party began to escalate into confusion.  Even the air felt dangerous and I found myself being herded down the hall by a pack of boys.  Just as I knew I was in the wrong place at the wrong time James reached out and said, “You’re with me.” I remember those words.  He pulled me to the side and we crouched behind some furniture in the darkness and deafness of the music, waiting.  The room cleared and the party went back to normal.  We never spoke about that moment.  In fact, it wasn't until years later, with the clarity of adulthood that I realized what he had done for me.

A small thing.  A simple moment.  A moment that could have been so different for me.  A moment that James may not have remembered.  After that summer, our lives parted ways and here I am years later heartbroken over this terrible news.  It was a lifetime ago that James and I walked in the same circles, but that small act has crescendoed into something deeply profound for me.  And, it is the mantra which pulses the blood through my heart.  Life is about love.

The drum has shifted pace, it's thrumming to the pulse of what I have learned from James' life, from your question and from a conversation with another friend.  I called her on the phone.  We talked about James and she said, "Sometimes we don't recognize how valuable we are."

That is your answer, Anonymous.  That is why I am pleased with good little things.

"Sometimes we don't recognize how valuable we are."

People are valuable.  Mr. Scabs is valuable.  I am valuable.  The man/woman who hurt you is valuable.  And you, my Anonymous friend, you are valuable.

I love you.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Letter to me


Letter to myself
Please deliver November 27, 2010

Dear Self,

I know you are screaming, your eyes are bloodshot and your mind is exploding at the impossible truth you see in front of you.  You're teetering between denial, dry stomach heaves and melting onto the floor in an inconsolable heap.  But, as you look into his emptiness you see the truth.  I know you want to punch him in the face but take a step backward.

Good.  Take another step.

Now walk away.  Go to the kitchen, get a drink of water and stare out the window into the black night for a minute...

Strengthen yourself, because you are about to enter the storm of your life.

It's ok to be afraid.  And angry.  And pissed.  And it's ok to throw all his belongings out of your room and spit on them.  It's ok to hunker down and cry on your sofa and not know what to do.  It's ok to feel numb.  Press into the numbness as it's Gods way of protecting you and as a good friend pointed out, possibly protecting him as well.  It's ok to feel bitter and sallow disrespect.  It's ok to doubt and hold mistrust.  It's ok to disconnect from him.  And, oddly it's ok to connect with him.  It's ok to hate him.  It's ok to banish him from your home and life.  It's ok to feel humiliated by his actions.  It's ok to wonder what the hell you did wrong.  It's ok to tell no one and then everyone.  It's ok to question your sexuality.  It's ok to squeeze your eyes shut and wish this terrible mess away.  It's ok to wear the same sweatpants for days, forget to wash your hair and call in sick to work.  It's ok to pretend.  And, it's ok to be utterly raw.  It's ok to stay up all night watching Divorce Court.  It's ok to text your sponsor in the middle of the night.  It's ok to try and manipulate and control him.  It's ok to puke in your mouth every time you see him.  It's ok to be racked by triggers and terrible thoughts.  It's ok to feel betrayal and want revenge.  It's ok to be lost and confused and question God.  All these and more are ok.  Not because it's what you should do and should feel but because it's what you do feel.  This is trauma.  There is no doubt it will scar and change you.

But, it is not ok to wallow or dwell on any of these.  There is a time to get up off the couch and get to work.

Do not be afraid of the unfamiliar emotions that are coming your way.  You can do this.  You will find an untapped strength and discover that you are oddly well-prepared to move through this pain.  These emotions will be your lighthouse.  They will guide you through this storm.  Through the squall.  Through the screaming white walls of shame and fear.   For each ugly emotion you feel you must also feel your way out of it.  Everything has it's opposite.  And, at the end of all this is deep forgiveness not just for him, but for all the pains in your life.

Take your time.  Be patient with yourself.  Make sure you are ok.  But do this.  This is how you will be able to let go of the hurt and replace it with love.   Love is everything.  You're daughter will teach you this.

It's ok to talk to your daughter in a gentle age-appropriate way.  It's ok to involve her in the healing process.  Recognize that even if you don't tell her, she will feel the pain.  So open this door of love and learning for both of you.

When you think about taking your daughter to Disneyland, do it.  Don't hesitate.  You will both love it and need it.  Spend two days instead of one and spend all of Mr. Scabs money.  Buy those $8 churros.  You won't regret it.

Time will pass and you will begin to see shadows and silhouettes in the storm.  You will see the outline of an orange life vest.  Reach out.  Paddle toward her.  You need each other.  Her rescue boat may be shattered and sinking but she has an extra life vest.  Share with each other.  Do not be afraid to tell your story.

Listen to your mind.  What does it tell you?  Then listen to your heart.  What does it tell you?  Feel it in your guts. When the feeling in your gut and the small voice in your heart matches the calm in your mind you will have the courage to take another step forward.  This three witness will show you your truth. You will be led not knowing beforehand the things you should do or what the future will hold.  The only way out of this storm is to keep paddling.  You will come to know that the strength of your paddle is not your own.

There is one truth you must learn to accept.  This is a painful and difficult truth.  It's something you will struggle with but once you accept it, it will change everything.

This is it:
There are no guarantees.  Mr. Scabs is a free agent.  He may or may not change.  You cannot force it. Wish it. Be sexy enough for it.  Or beg it to happen.  Only he will decide.  And you must step back and let him do it, or not do it.

There is also one last thing I want to tell you.  And, it might be the most important of all.

I am from your future.  I know what happens.  I know the outcome.  Right this very moment I'm sitting on your living room floor, drinking hot chocolate and typing you this letter.  I have been through the storm.  My heart is full of happiness, love, compassion and forgiveness.  I feel more depth and understanding of life's purpose.  I am here to tell you that the storm of your life does not steal or waste you.  It builds you.

You can do this.


Challenge: Write a letter to yourself.  If you blog, be sure to link back.  
If you don't blog and want to share your letter, email me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Camp Scabs Survey Results

The results are in!
And, I've made a pie chart for you.

We'll be holding Camp Scabs in AZ, UT and CA!
Idaho and New York were close, so I'm still wondering about doing both or choosing one.

Other places suggested were Mexico, London, Seattle, Vancouver, Pennsylvania, Montana.
Who knows what the future holds.

For now, I'll be working on dates and plans for the AZ, UT and CA camps.
The details will be announced in a few weeks.

camp scabs survey results

Some general info

Who's invited: Women only

When: Camps will probably be Friday night through Sunday morning.

Cost: I'm hoping to keep the cost around $75-100 per camper for food, lodging and activities.  Is this reasonable?  If addiction, separation or just life has caused you financial strain.  Don't count yourself out. Send me an email.  I'm sure we can work something out.

Communication:  Once the camp is announced and you're signed up we will start a private email where we can communicate about location, car pooling, safety, what color sweatpants your going to wear and if you like Nutella, along with other more important details.

Safety:  Because of the intimate nature of our lives and the stories we'll be sharing, safety, privacy and respect are paramount.  It's important we feel safe physically and emotionally.  I'm working on ways to foster this.

Camp Scabs is such an exciting idea for me and I can't wait to meet you!  
Questions?  Comments?  

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Peek into Mr Scabs


Mr. Scabs and I have worked together to write this post.  Although I form the sentences  many of these words are his own.  Trying to capture raw honesty from the past.
This is his version of this post.

November 2011

"Aha" moments don't come to me.  Awareness don't seem to fall into place for me and when my wife begs to know why I've done what I've done, the answers don't come.

I have lived a numb life.  A shallow life.  My connection with other human beings running just across the surface, like a skipping stone restlessly dabbling it's way across the pond racing to the other side.  The quicker, the faster the speedier I go--the more of life I miss. The thought of slowing down and diving under the surface into deep waters has me crippled, I won't do it.

No one wants to be caught doing something they shouldn't.  Like a kid narked on, facing kindergarten detention for spitting in the back of his teachers hair.  Even though every straw of my heart warns me to stay away, I feel the pull.  And the skipping stone racing through my life.  A blind draw of curiosity.  I already live out of a laundry basket, homelessly wandering between my home and my friends spare pink room.  I have to knock on my own front door.  What more warning do I need!?

Curiosity is a strange word to use here.  It sounds innocent.  But that's not what I mean.  I feel like a fish that has absently swam into deeper, darker, murkier waters.  Trudging back trough the dark and murky toward the clear waters is too long and impossible to do.  Instead, any shiny bit or bobble captures me, because it's all I can see.  So I bite.  Only to have a painful hook rip through my lip, swiftly drag me to the surface where I can't see or breath and then I'm gutted, fried, drizzled with lemon and eaten.

Curiosity.  It killed the cat.  Despite it's 9 lives.

I don't know how else to describe what I did the day Ms. Scabs rode her bike to yoga or any of the days I hurt her.  None of it makes sense.

Our eyes meet and my hand instinctively slams the laptop shut.  But she has seen everything.  The weight of her defeat eats at me.  She has given up and I feel the strength that held us together slip away.  I'm plummeting and instead of frantically grasping for a way out, I lean into the fall accepting all the abuses I have caused.  A knife plunges into my underbelly, tearing at my guts.  This is my end.  No lying, no explaining it away or blame-shifting.

I have spent my 9 lives.

The weekend marks our 11 year anniversary but we won't be spending it together.  She's packed her bags and arranged a weekend away.  It's a cold good-bye; instructions about watching the kids this weekend, like I'm some kind of babysitter.  

I ask her where she's going, what she's going to do, who's she going to be with.  Silence.  I feel left out.  Like a liar.  I feel like a betrayer.  Rejected.  Skipping across the pond racing away.  Running from myself.  There is no "Aha" moment.

As she leaves I jab her a snide comment about going off to cheat on me.  To do what I have done to her.  I hang my head because I know I deserve it. be continued

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

feeling like poo

nice photo, right?

Some kind of drippy nose head cold has caught up with me.  Uggg.  The kind where you're so stuffed that you can't hear or breath, you have a massive headache and Kleenexes are stuffed up your nostrils    Why do i feel a surge of hormones and want to make out when I'm disgustingly sick like this? It makes no sense. That is my question to the universe! Now, lets see if Mr. Scabs wants a slobbery kiss!  He owes me, right?
The shot above may or may not be the real me.  

No story telling tonight.  But, Mr. Scabs and I have been diving deep
 into his side of this story.

On a side note, Scabs is now on Instagram..."The headless life of Mr. & Ms. Scabs"
Pictures of our real life. Instagram handle: eatmyscabs

Sunday, February 3, 2013

a movie

My BFF shared this movie clip with me today.  Over a bag of chips, I shared it with my family.  My youngest son cried about how many chips he didn't get, my daughter loved the way the kids played and Mr. Scabs started to cry.  So did I.

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