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 teeter-tottering 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.

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 about it 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?  When that small voice in your heart matches the small voice in your mind you will have the courage to take another step forward.  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.


  1. I dated a SA for two years at BYU. We spent a year and a half of that praying about when we would get married. We ended up buying a ring when I found out everything. I had asked the right questions, but I was so naive. He picked the addiction over me.

    It has made me treat my marriage, to a different person, completely different. I treat us both like addicts. I appreciate how open you are and how much I know you help others.

  2. Love it, I am so totally going to do this. Thankyou :)

  3. This brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful and full of truth. Thank you. I'm going to try this, though I'm unsure what I will tell myself!

    1. I especially love the part about when your heart and your mind are telling you the same thing - goes right along with something I learned on Sunday.

  4. Wow, this is so strange, April. I did one early this morning. Can you say Fate?

  5. Wow! SO powerful! THank you for sharing. THis would be a wonderful thing to share with a S-Anon new comer. The message of hope is so incredibly important! Thank you!

  6. I love this. I'm definitely going to do this. I don't know when, but it will happen.

  7. Beautifully written. I needed a lot of this. I have been reading your blog for months, but I am just new to the H&H forum now, and beginning the baby steps of my recovery. My husband is not really on a recovery path as yet. I think I would like to write to my past self anyway.

  8. I LOVED this post. I Loved Autumn's comment. I agree. Not that I ever dated a SA, but I think I take a lot of what I've read into my marriage. We don't have these exact struggles, but we do have our own things we work through as well as I have my own insanity to deal with that is unrelated to my husband. I loved what you said about the storm of life building you. I also loved what you said about no guarantees. It's ultimately his choice. You can't force it, be sexy enough for it, or beg it to happen. I don't think I've officially commented on this blog. Sometimes I feel guilty because I haven't suffered through these things, yet so many of the lessons you share apply to so many areas. I think a lot of this letter can relate to a lot of struggles in marriage or in life in general. We all battle our own demons. I grow every time I read this blog thank you so much for sharing such talent. From your ability to see things in a beautiful way to being able to write them so beautifully.

  9. I love this:) I am going to do it...love a good challenge that will cause me to reflect and dig deep into the depths of my recovery.

    Love you Scabs and thank you!

  10. When the little voice in your head and the little voice in your heart match, move forward. As usual, beautifully put, and in a way I needed to read today! Too often I side with either head or heart. Not often enough do they agree.

  11. Loved this! Not quite the same thing at all, but today I just happened to post a letter my husband wrote to his addict part of himself.

  12. I love letters to myself. This was great. Good luck. God speed. Conquer!

  13. This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I just wrote the first draft of my letter and will publish it on my blog within the week. This felt so good to write and really helped me put some things together emotionally. Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Published my letter today! http://victorywillwait.blogspot.com/2013/02/letter-to-myself.html

  16. Published mine too :) http://letstryagain2.blogspot.com/2013/02/letter-to-myself-deliver-december-13th.html

  17. As I read your letter I saw myself about a year ago we were the same person going through the the same pain...Looking back now and you captured it in your letter is that in order to heal and move forward it is ok to feel and be in that pain and that trauma..it is normal..thank you for all your blogs as they have blessed me immensely through this journey...the funniest thing was I was in Disneyworld too with my youngest daughter also in 2010.."It's a small world after all"

    1. We have some kind of parallel life eh? Thats funny! So, how are things for you now? SOunds like we were in the same place then, how have things progressed?

    2. I am progressing alone pretty much my husband has done nothing to get real help in all of this time...I'm still not divorced yet but hanging in there!!

    3. That's all we can really do, is progress on our own. You and your husband are in my thoughts.

  18. I will publish a post with links to all you letters! They were great. thanks for sharing.

  19. Love you so much you are incredible. Your strength comes from God but you allowed it to be <3

  20. And the teary flood gates open. Thank you for this blog. Thank you for this beautiful post. Thank you for the laughs and for sharing your pain. I can't wait to sign up for camp. I think I might know you...



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