Friday, March 25, 2011

Trial Run...

Another weekend coming up.

It is spring break week, and Bobby spent it with me. The first day was difficult, he was hovering over every little thing. But as I talked to him about what he could and couldn't do, or rather, what he didn't have to ask permission to do, he lightened up.

I am glad we had him over. He won't be going back to Bridgette's until Monday, so we have a few more days. I was a little nervous of what it might be like living with him again. I now know it's going to be fine.

We have discussed sacrifice, compromise, and why we always ask him to say back to us in his own words what we said to him. He thought the latter was because we thought he was stupid and a failure. Danny explained to him that we do that to make sure we have done the job right and that WE are no failing, not Bobby. We have found that often we speak with the same words, but those words have different meanings. So it is really important to get Bobby to relate how he is understanding the conversation, otherwise we end up with him upset, because he thinks we are doing something totally different than we are. Oh the joys of communicating with an autistic boy.

I'm not sure he really understands compromise yet, but is getting there. I have decided to keep showing him examples in our daily lives. There are many compromises to make with him. He wants everything to be done his way, with him in the center. Life just doesn't work that way.

And sacrifice..... We have decided not to move. We are in a 2 bedroom apartment now, but the thought of moving yet again is just too much for me. There is also the matter of noise. Bobby is really loud, and walks heavy. Most 3 bedroom places we have looked into are on the second floor. That just will not do. And... they don't have washer/dryer units. The 2 bedroom units do, but not the 3 bedroom units... go figure?

We have a rather large living room, so with the help of bookshelves and a freestanding wardrobe, we will partition off half of the room and turn it into my bedroom. Bobby will get my room, I really need him to have a room where he can close the door, setting a more concrete boundary. I am explaining to Bobby that it is a sacrifice for me to give up my room, but by doing so I am compromising between him moving in with us and me not wanting to move to a bigger apartment.

His response to me telling him I was sacrificing? "But you're mom and you love me."

He's right.... that's what moms do.

I think he is beginning to understand. I sure hope this works. Danny and I have prayed about it and feel good about the decision.

One more thing... yesterday we got an addition to our family. Chris and Crystal have a beautiful baby girl. They are coming here in August, and I can't wait to see them.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

12 Steps Christ's Way...

I've been thinking about the 12-Step program. How much my life has changed since I have learned the principle of letting God take over in my life. It's not just a matter of believing, it is really knowing HOW to give Him my will, and letting Him keep it.

I attend the group sponsored by my church, for co-dependent partners of a sex addict. This group is specific, but others sponsored by my church are more general, towards any addiction or co-dependency. Even though I am not married, this groups still applies best to me. I like this one better than the public ones, like COSA (Co-Dependents of Sex Addicts), because it does not promote a "higher power" as anything we choose. We are specific and determined it is Jesus Christ and His great Atonement.

I've thought about how that makes a difference. To believe in just a "higher power", to use that mind set in recovery, puts a limitation on recovery. Because man by himself can only go so far, in recovery, but never be recovered. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that does the healing, not a belief in "something". Even though there are people in these groups that believe in Jesus Christ and put him in the role, and are trying to draw on the Atonement, the doctrine of the group puts the "higher power" and Jesus Christ on equal ground. This puts limits on the Atonement, because they do not teach that if you choose Jesus Christ you can be completely healed, but if you choose something else you won't be. They just say all cannot be cleansed from you, the addiction will always be there.

Those groups teach it this way, either an addict or a recovering addict. Never a recovered addict. That is the limitation, the 10% lie embedded with the 90% truth. I do believe it is a lie too, one that keeps the addict from believing they are good enough. They are taught they will always have this fight inside themselves, always struggling. They teach it does get better, but do not acknowledge the pull can be completely, totally, absolutely purged from them. With this limitation, the temptation can become equal to how the temptation taunts a person without the addiction, but will not go away.

With the Lord's help, through His Atonement, weaknesses can and are turned into strengths. This means there is no more temptation, it is completely gone. The person is stronger and has no desire whatsoever to even let the temptation exist. Satan has no power whatsoever unless we give it to him, which means, no power to tempt unless permission is given to him. The Atonement gives us the ability to take back the power we once gave to Satan, and give it back to Christ.

A great example is the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, the people of Ammon. (see Book of Mormon, Alma chapter 17 to 26 inclusive.) The great example of those people, who were a blood-thirsty, warring people. Who believed the traditions of their fathers, who believed the lies taught to them. They were Lamanites (ancestors to the American Indian) before, but changed their nationality to show their change of heart. They called themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehi or the people of Ammon after their conversion to God, after their evil ways were purged out of them. "6-And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them - yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away. 7-For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more, neither against any of their brethren" Alma 23:6-7.

I have experienced the damage that can be done by the lie. How can someone believe they are Celestial material, a Child of God, if they believe there will always be filth inside themselves? Those two beliefs cannot co-exist. You are either a Child of God, with the inherited ability to be pure and clean, whole and complete, with His help... or you believe you are less, damaged, flawed, and doomed to never become that which the scriptures promise. That which Jesus Christ promises. The second belief calls God a liar. It says He makes the promise to others, but not to you.

I once believed the lies. I believed I was flawed, just a throw away, a mistake. In my stupidity I once told my Heavenly Father he ought to just throw me away, I wasn't worth it... He was listening... that is for sure. In a fraction of a moment, He showed me what it would feel like to be thrown away, to completely loose His presence. In that fraction of a moment, I felt my breath being sucked out of me, the darkness was so thick it was crushing. In that fraction of a moment I learned that I was NOT throw away material. That I didn't want to be. In a gasp I said I was sorry, I was wrong, I didn't mean it anymore, and in return I was surrounded with His light, His love, I was lifted instead of crushed. I learned I really did matter to my Heavenly Father. Being in that light is the promise of the Atonement. It absolutely can bring wholeness and healing. Complete, without flaw, without limitations.

I used to hate myself. My counselor called it "self-loathing". I now love myself. I have value. And my value is more than any person or "higher power" can give me. It is what Jesus Christ has given me. I am a Child of God. The knowledge of this truth makes me love my Savior and Heavenly Father even more.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Will Versis God's Will

What do you do when your will wants to do one thing, but in the answers to your prayers you are nudged towards the opposite direction? Rather strong nudges, but nudges all the same.

Submitting my will to God's will is at this time amongst the hardest things I have ever done, yet in another way it isn't so hard. I have no idea what the direction is or what the outcome will be.... but somehow I feel comfort in choosing to set myself aside.

But there is a tug-of-war going on. My will is strong, it is screaming at me to shut down and protect myself. My will is selfish and self-serving. It thinks it is self-protecting, but it is really only self-limiting.

I have found myself thinking of Nephi often lately. (see Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi). Only Nephi did not have a tug-of-war going on inside of himself. He knew he wanted to follow God's will, and went through a lot of trials doing so. He had faith enough to stand in the storm and hold fast.

I want to hold fast.

"... I will go and do as the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." 1 Nephi 3:7

Is there a difference between a prompting and a command? I've never asked that question before.

The problem with my will, besides the selfish part, is that I don't have the whole picture, it just isn't possible. But God does. He knows HOW to connect "A" to "B" to "C" all the way to "Z" and beyond. My will connects the dots so randomly, it just isn't possible to figure out the picture. Or it turns into a sub-standard picture, missing important components and never really working right.

I would far rather have God's will directing my path, my choices. There are trials along the way, pain to overcome, stretching to do. But then I look back and I think "WOW!!" I did that!! And now I'm stronger, those same problems don't get to me as they once did. This is just one of the many reasons why God is so awesome, He does so much for me through my trials, IF I let Him.

I guess it doesn't matter what the outcome will be, whatever it is, it will be what my Heavenly Father, in His great wisdom, knows is best. I just need to seek His will and submit. And do so loudly enough that I drown out the screams of my own will.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is There Someone Out There Who Is Real and Trustable??????

My heart has been all over the place.

I met someone I liked.... alot. I thought he liked me, the little signs were there. The way he looked at me.... intense.... He came over twice and had dinner and played games with me and Danny. He loved my cooking and compared my cooking twice to his mother. He said he hadn't eaten that good since he left home. He invited us to his place for a bar-b-que when the car was fixed. He was going to come over and make fish tacos for us using my kitchen. He said he really enjoyed coming over. He wanted to do it again.

It was going slow, but I figured he was being cautious, I know I was. I had prayed soon after my divorce that if I ever had the opportunity to have a relationship again that it would go slowly and cautiously..I figured that what was happening was an answer to that prayer. He was a friend of Danny's and Danny had wanted to introduce me to him for almost 2 years! But he was waiting til I was ready. We were introduced last October.

A few weeks ago he told Danny he wanted to talk to him. We thought he was going to see if it was okay with Danny if he asked me out. He was after all, Danny's friend first.

What a shocker.... he told Danny he met a woman online recently and was engaged to marry her in a month!! So fast, so .... so..... so not wise.

My head was reeling.... did I misunderstand his signals? Danny saw the same ones. No, the signals were there, but now I question if he knew he was sending them..... RED FLAGS WAVING.

There were other red flags too, but I wondered if it was just because of nervousness. I discussed them with Danny, so I did not keep them to myself. I asked him to watch for them too. We have spent many a night discussing this situation.

I met my 2nd husband online. It was a fast relationship, way too fast. There were tons of red flags that I ignored. We know the outcome of that one. When you don't give yourself time to get to know someone, how can you know if it will work? Add age and experience to it, and you are mixing a recipe for disaster.

I am praying for this man. Not because I am interested anymore, but because marriage is such a HUGE decision and will impact many people for the rest of their lives. And because he was a man my son had found to trust.....

Even Danny has changed his mind. His friend is no longer in that trust role.

There is a lot more to this, that I do not feel to say. The details are not important here. Suffice it to say, we see an unhealthy marriage about to be solidified.

My heart will recover. Luckily, it didn't get too deeply involved. I need to trust my Heavenly Father more now than ever, because I really don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. I want the blessings that come from sharing, growing, changing, and becoming a true partnership. I have a lot of love to give, and no one to give it to.

Are there any single men out there that are real and trustable? There has to be, I have to keep believing there are.

Heavenly Father, please find one for me...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Children... Grandchildren... and Reality...

I really need to keep a pencil and paper by my bedside at night. I keep coming up with these wonderful subjects to write about, only to have not a clue what they were at daybreak. Since I really don't want to make it a habit of getting up at 2am and writing for an hour, I think the pencil/paper solution where I would jot down the main idea would probably work nicely.

At least I would know what my brilliant mind was thinking at 2am!

My luck, the ideas are better left forgotten.

But despite my lack of ideas, life does go on. There are three grandbabies waiting to make their entrance into this world. Another daughter for Chris and Crystal, who I am sure will be as beautiful as both her mother and her sister. Crystal is so ready for that day.

I remember those days, the waiting seemed to be an eternity, yet after the birth, time flew. That little angel had the nerve to grow up! And the angel was replaced by a 2-yr-old who found and read that mysterious manual. You know the one I am talking about... It amazes me how similar 2-yr-olds are.

The other two grandbabies have a few more months to go. First Michelle and her little girl, then a week or so later, Tiffany with a son. Both families are very excited, getting the sex they were hoping for.

Well, then, I wonder how much Tiffany thought having a boy would affect her? It seems she is allergic to the male hormones, so her body had the nerve to break out in hives. So not only is she beyond sick, she is itching up the ying-yang to boot!!

I do not miss those days. Being a grandma is where it is at!

My son Bobby will be moving back in with me in June. It has been two years since we have lived at the same place. Danny and I are both praying it turns out okay. Bobby can be quite demanding, he is high maintenance. I think the biggest problem is that when we were in Arizona, the people who should have known better filled his head with aspirations that far exceed his ability. That was such an unfair thing to do to him and to his family. We are now the "bad guy", telling him he cannot go to college, become a movie producer, or have a family that his mom will raise.

Going to college. To do so you have to have a high school education. Yes, he has graduated, with a modified diploma that shows his education has not exceeded the 7th grade. There is no modifying in college.

When we received his school records from Arizona, the school here immediately saw there was a problem. They claimed on the records that he could do things he could not do, or knew things he did not know. They had to scramble to make it possible for him to graduate by the time he was 21. I shouldn't be surprised, I've heard that Arizona schools rank #50 among United States schools. That's last on the list!!

Being a movie producer! Let's get real here. Besides the fact that you need money to do this, you also need people skills, communication skills beyond that of a toddler. And I would assume you need more than a 7th grade equivalent education.

And finally. A family that his mom will raise??? I don't think so! I've done my raising. He tells his developmental disabilities worker that he intends to marry an autistic girl who is lower functioning then he is (huge red flag here), will have children and his mom will take care of them. This mom is not in agreement.

So thanks a lot Arizona schools. We have damage control to do here. It has been two years, and there is still much work to do.

I am grateful I can pray and ask for strength here. I really need it. Raising an autistic child is hard, undoing damage done by the school system to our children is really hard... put them together and it will definitely take Divine assistance to bring this around.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Men Are Not As I Thought They Were....

I have been thinking about writing this blog entry all week. It kept me from writing anything else, so I guess I'd better get this done so I can move on.

I wrote this entry in my journal on Feb 19th. I woke up early... very early... and decided I ought to write down what was going on in my head because likely, I would forget by morning. I have modified the entry a bit, being I repeated myself somewhat. I tend to do that when I wake up at 2am and start writing:

My whole life I have connected with guys who prey on needy women. That is because I was a needy woman. I was raised by my dad to be that way. You could even say he groomed me and my sisters to be needy.

I didn't know there was any other kind of male. I will refer to them as men, but I have come to discover that they really don't act very much like men at all.

This man is a charming, warm, compassionate, caring, and kind person. He behaves as the perfect man for her, interested in meeting her every need. But he really is only feeding himself, his addiction. He sets her up to let the needy out. He primes her to wrap herself emotionally around his charm. He feeds on her neediness, keeping her needy. At the same time he is repulsed by her. It is actually this repulsion that keeps her in a needy place. He is using her and she lets him use her because she knows no other way of being.

And she uses him. In her desperate attempts to get out of the needy place, she misguidedly thinks she can only accomplish this with his help.

So together they play this tug-of-war game, keeping the neediness in place while at the same time trying to escape it.

I'm not saying all men who are charming, warm, compassionate, caring, and kind are preying on needy women, there is more to it than that. I am saying that these men do, on the surface, fit that description. The difference is that they are only doing it to feed their own needs, they really are not interested in hers. And these men are addicts. They are heavy into porn and/or other deviant behaviors.

As I stated, these men who prey on needy women do not act as a real man acts. They do not communicate as healthy men communicate. These men reveal themselves to women as women relate. They do this to real her in. They are truly predators in the worse sense.

My whole life these are the kind of men I surrounded myself with. I am only now learning that communication with a healthy man is not as I have done my whole life. I have learned I have a lot of misguided conceptions about men, and much changing of perspective on my part to do. I have begun this process and will continue in it in order to be able to have a healthy, productive, and correct relationship with a man someday.

I praise God for the loving way He has guided me to this place of learning and growth. His love for me truly surpasses my understanding, and my gratitude overflows my heart.